PUCL condemns arrest of Jaya Vindhyalaya #Vaw #ITAct


The PUCL National Executive meeting in Delhi today strongly condemns the arrest by the AP police of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala, State President, PUCL AP at 7.30 am today (12th May, 2013) in Hyderabad. Ms. Jaya Vindhyala has been exposing the corruption of the Chirala MLA, and other senior officials of AP.

The PUCL strongly believes that the arrest of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala is a vindictive action of the state police meant only to silence the growing voice and demand for fair, independent investigation into the corrupt deals of the Chirala MLA as also other high dignitaries and officials.

The PUCL feels that the timing of the arrest on a Sunday is to ensure that no legal recourse like bail can be availed by Ms. Jaya. The PUCL questions the need for the state police to arrest Ms. Jaya Vindhyala especially in view of the Supreme Court directions in
the case of `Joginder Kumar vs State of UP’, (1989) that arrest of a person need not be effected if the person will appear before the police on summons and there is no danger of the person absconding, threatening witnesses or tampering with evidence. This is not the case in the case of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala who is a widely respected person, and is a senior and well known Advocate of the AP Bar and is a well known human rights defender.
It is revealing to note that the three FIRs registered by the Chirala police against Ms. Jaya, includes offences under section 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (threatening with intention to kill), 120-B (Conspiracy) IPC and Information Technology Act. These provisions are routinely abused and misused by the police to foist false cases and in the cases against Ms. Jaya, we learn, are all based on false allegations not making out any of these offences.

The PUCL has also learnt that 9 other members of PUCL – AP have also been named in the FIR and the police is hunting them down.

The PUCL demands the immediate release of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala and closure of all the cases against her, as also other PUCL members, in Prakasham district.

(V. Suresh)
National General Secretary, PUCL






Is protesting at a public meeting curbing #FOE #FOS ?

Dec 8, 2012–A big hue and cry has been been rasied among activists after the walkout  from the Sixth Justice VM Tarkunde Memorial Lecture because Shri Nandan Manohar Nilekani was chosen to deliver it on November 23, 2012.
When the lecture was announced many of us were stunned at the fact that how could PUCL be associated with an event wherein Nandan Nilekani  has been given a platform to speak.  All human righst activists involved in say no to uid campaign, wrote individually to PUCL to cancel the event and PUCL  came up with the following a public statement which said
We had issued a statement where we made explicit that our opposition to UDIAI has not changed nor our continuing to oppose the UID project. We had also spoken to and followed by writing to the organisers informing our stand on UIDAI, that selection of a person like Mr. Nilekani is  contradictory to the very ideals that Justice Tarkunde’s  work and persona reflected, and therefore the demand for calling off the lecture as also that we did not want to be associated with the event. The organisers had also accepted our request and agreed not to associate PUCL with the event .
 As event was not cancelled, but PUCL had disassociated , the civil liberteis activists at the public meeting on Nov 23rd 2012 ,decided to walk out to show their protest the Read the report here
There after, there has been many email exchanges which are reproduced below
Clarification by PUCL
Dear friends,
I have been forwarded a news item “Why civil liberties activists walked out from Nandan Nilekani ‘s lecture” in which it is stated that those who walked out included “N.D.Pancholi, President, People’s Union For civil liberties (PUCL) Delhi” amongst others. It is entirely incorrect. I did not walk out in protest from the multipurpose hall where the lecture was being held. I had come out from the hall when I heard some noises outside and had some discussion with the protestors. I am one of the members of the Tarkunde Memorial Foundation. It is also not correct, as stated in the report, that “organisers rushed and tried to take back the papers”. It is also incorrect that the organisers termed the silent and peacerful distribution of the Statement as “trouble”. If some participants in the audience felt disturbed while the said activists were distributing statement, and made some remarks, organisers have nothing to do with it. Please make necessary corrections in your report and publish my clarification..
Thanking you,
Usha Ramanathan who was at the meeting and walked out responded

It is indeed true that Mr Pancholi did not walk out. He came out with the organisers who also anxiously came out of the hall because of the walk out.

As for the rest, it is indeed true that the orgainsers did take back the papers that had been quietly passed around. May be Mr Pancholi did not see it happening, but others amongst us did, and Mr Riain Karanjawala, who is among the organisers, did not deny it when he was confronted, by Vrinda Grover, with this illiberal act. It is also true that it was a member of the organisers’ team that termed what had happened as `trouble’. This too was hotly contested on the steps of the multipurpose hall where the meeeting was being held. And, as Vrinda pointed out, if what had happened could be termed trouble — viz., handing out papers that would set out the dangers of a project that was being promoted on the platform that had been provided to the one marketing the project; and the walk out that was intended to indicate that this is not a compliant citizenry which has no civil liberties consciousness –the that was what Justice Tarkunde had been doing all his life!

May be Mr Pancholi objects to the young props of the organisers who acted as if we posed a threat to the meeting as being thought of as part of the `organisers’. There is, however, no question that they were acting on behalf of the organisers. There is also no question that Mr Riain Karanjawala came out to take over from his young team. Mr Pancholi was there. Mr Pancholi may also recall that he said to us to give him the papers that we said was being confiscated in the room, and that he would ensure that they were distributed; and Mr Karanjawala silenced him with unwonted vigour. It is also a fact that Mr Karanjawala made disgruntled murmurs that he had never wanted PUCL as part of the Tarkunde lecture but that Justcie Sachar had prevailed on him, and, his tone made unmistakable, he, Mr Karanjawala regretted the error.

Mr Pancholi was part of the meeting that decided to invite Mr Nandan Nilekani. We know that Mr Pancholi is a member of the PUCL, and that he has been opposed to the UID project. However, it seems he may not have been fully cognisant of Mr Nilekani’s connection with the UID project. So, he ended up being a part of the inviting team. That he walked out of the hall of course does not mean that he was part of our walk out. He was walking out to see what was happening; and something certainly was, outside the hall, on the steps. And that included words exchanged about `trouble’, about PUCL, about taking back papers that had been circulated, about free expression, and about Justice Tarkunde not belonging to any particular set of people, not his family, not PUCL, but the wider community of people who have held him in high esteem through these years of his work and beyond.

The again on Dec 3rd 2012, Mr Pancholi responded
This is with reference to the comments made by Usha on my clarification which I sent in reply to a news item “Why civil liberties activists walked out from Nandan Nilekani’s lecture” published on a website ‘Kractivist’.
When I said to Vrinda to hand me over the pamphlets so that I could ensure that the same were properly distributed, she replied that she had no pamphlets as the same were distributed and were in turn snatched away from the participants by some youngmen. I told her that the civil liberties activists should have informed the organisers or me beforehand of their intentions of distributing the pamphlets. Had they disclosed such intention, some way could have been found out without disturbing the lecture. It is her misconception to say that Mr. Karanjwala silenced me.
Earlier Shri Sandeep Singh (of Citizens Forum For Civil Liberties) had come alongwith some activists at the auditorium almost one hour before the start of the lecture and on my enquiry he had assured me that to his knowledge there was no plan of making any protest or disturbing the lecture.
During the midst of the lecture when the audience is attentive to the speaker, if some activists, suddenly and without informing the organizers, start distributing the pamphlets, the same certainly cannot be called peaceful and silent distribution. It disturbs the speaker as well as the listeners. I stick to my statement made in my clarification that organizers of the lecture are not involved as alleged for taking back the said pamphlets or making any remark ‘trouble’ as alleged.
I am doubtful of UID project but I am not averse to listening opposite point of view. Listening other point s of views helps me in making my perceptions clearer, and enables me to correct myself if I am in error.
The moment Tarkunde Memorial Foundation announced the lecture, the demands were being made from a section of the civil liberties activists that lecture should be ‘called off’. This demand was continued to be made even after PUCL declared its non-association with the event. Statements made by Usha and PUCL also emphasized this demand. I am at a loss to understand as to how civil liberties activists can ask any other organization to call off the lecture simply because they do not agree with the views of the speaker! Is there any place in the ‘civil liberties consciousness’ for tolerance and to listen to opposite point of view peacefully?
The finaly reply by Usha Ramanathan and Vrinda Grover, both who were at the meeting, received today is below
There is little point that i can see in going round and round our memories of 23rd November. I think what had to be said has been said.
Except — Mr Pancholi now considers those who had a problem with Mr Nilekani being given a civil liberties platform undemocratic! That seems somewhat naive and ingenuous.
Since November 2009, we have been trying to get Mr Nilekani to answer some basic questions, and we have met with surliness as a response, each time. On 28 September, 2010, a statement issued by 17 eminent citizens raised questions that remain unanswered till today. (I am attaching the statement with this mail; this is the `pamphlet’ to which Mr Pancholi alludes.) Among the signatories are Kannabiran and Kavita and Aruna Roy, all members of PUCL. Kannabiran had also been advocating civil disobedience, if that was the only way to stop this project. The UID project, and its implications for civil liberties, was presented at the PUCL National Convention last year (2011), as was the problem with the sullen silence that had been the consistent response to our questions. Read the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on the Bill that was to give stautory status to the UIDAI, and it is peppered with evidence of recalcitrance on the part of Mr Nilekani and his team to answer questions. There has been overt hostility towards those raising the questions.
Mr Nilekani has had more than his share of talks and lectures where he has marketed the project. He has been heard — many times — and it is a consequence of this that we are now aware that the project projection is full of half-truths and lies.
We have no desire to storm around preventing Mr Nilekani from speaking; in fact, some of us have gone to hear him speak many times, seeking information, and clarity. That we have been disappointed each time is another matter; and that, needless to say, is an extreme understatement.
Our objection was to providing Mr Nilekani a civil liberties platform. After all, when someone is to be invited to speak at the Justice Tarkunde Memorial Lecture, the least we are entitled to expect is that the speaker should not be heading, and marketing, a project that poses a threat to civil liberties! I would have thought that we need to make sure that the platform is not used for promoting anti-civil liberties policies and action! If those inviting him had not studied the project, or had not heard him, or were not aware that he had anything to do with the project, it was, doubtless, irresponsibility on their part to have invited him in ignorance of his policy and his politics.
What made it worse was that this was a `lecture’. If it had been a debate, Mr Nilekani could have been asked to answer all those questions he has been sidestepping and refusing to answer through these three years. Of course, it can safely be hypothesised that Mr Nilekani may then have turned down the invitation, for he has not shown a penchant to being challenged.
This is a project that is not governed by law; and, literally, lawless. It is a project that was marketed as `voluntary’ and has now become mandatory, immediately for the poor to be extended over time to everyone. It is intended to converge data, facilitating tagging, tracking, profiling,and placing people under surveillance. It is a project that demands that that state and corporations be allowed to use biometrics as markers of identity; so, fingerprints and iris scans are to be the norm, and we are to be rendered choiceless in this use of the bosy as a marker. The individual is to be transparent to the state and to the corporation. Biometrics was used in the defence industry, but it was through its expansion into civilian spaces that its profit-through-proliferation is sought to be achieved. The companies involved in the project, including such ones as L1 Identity Solutions and Accenture have relationships with Homeland Security and the CIA. All this, and more, is known. Mr Nilekani’s task is to make this universal and ubiquitous. And he is to be given a civil liberties platform to sell the project, and those who object are undemocratic? These are strange times indeed.
The right to free expression does not require anyone to take permission to exercise the right. Isn’t that the civil liberties perspective? This was a silent and peacable passing around of a statement that would help people understand what the issues are. It is the snatching back of the papers that constitute an act of disruption, surely!!
Thanks for providing the space to have this exchange. With this, i rest my case. It is plain that what time there is needs to be dedicated to spreading understanding about the UID project. Clearly, what has been done has not been quite enough.
warm regards
 Usha ramanathan and Vrinda Grover
Cover photo


(issued by17 eminent persons (list appended) at a press conference held in Delhi on 28 September, 2010)

The project that proposes to give every resident  a `unique identity number’ is a  matter of great concern for those working on issues of food security, NREGA, migration, technology, decentralisation, constitutionalism, civil liberties and human rights. The process of setting up the Authority has resulted in very little, if any, discussion about this project and its effects and fallout. The documents on the UIDAI website, and a recent draft law (the National Identification Authority Bill, which is also on the website) do not provide answers to the many questions that are being raised in the public domain. This project is intended to collect demographic data about all residents in the country. It is said that it will impact on the PDS and NREGA programmes, and plug leakages and save the government large sums of money. It would, however, seem that even basic procedures have not been followed before launching on such a massive project.

Before it goes any further, we consider it imperative that the following be done:

  • Do a feasibility study: There are claims made in relation to the project, about what it can do for PDS and NREGA, for instance, which does not reflect any understanding of the situation of the situation on the ground.  The project documents do not say what other effects the project may have,  including its potential to be intrusive and violative of privacy, who may handle the data (there will be multiple persons involved in entering, maintaining and using the data), who may be able to have access to the data and similar other questions.
  • Do a cost-benefit analysis: It is reported that the UIDAI estimates the project will costs  Rs 45,000 crores to the exchequer in the next 4 years. This does not seem to include the costs that will be incurred by Registrars, Enrollers, internal systems costs that the PDs system will have to budget if it is to be able to use the UID, the estimated cost to the end user and to the number holder.
  • In a system such as this, a mere statement that the UIDAI will deal with the security of the data is obviously insufficient. How does the UIDAI propose to deal with data theft?  If this security cannot be reasonably guaranteed, the wisdom of holding such data in a central registry may need to be reviewed.
  • The involvement of firms such as Ernst & Young and Accenture raise further questions about who will have access to the data, and what that means to the people of India.
  • Constitutionality of this project, including in the matter of privacy, the relationship between the state and the people, security and other fundamental rights.

Questions have been raised which have not been addressed so far, including those about –

  • Undemocratic process: UIDAI was set-up via a GoI notification as an attached office of the Planning Commission without any discussion or debate in the Parliament or civil society. In the year and a half of its inception, the Authority has signed MoUs with virtually all states and UTs, LIC, Petroleum Ministry and many banks. In July, the Authority circulated the draft NIA Bill (to achieve statutory status); the window for public feedback was two weeks. Despite widespread feedback and calls for making all feedback public, the Authority has not made feedback available. Further in direct contravention to the process of public feedback, the NIA Bill was listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha 2010 monsoon session
  • Privacy (It is only now that the DoPT is said to be working on a draft of a privacy law, but nothing is out for discussion even yet)
  • Surveillance: where this technology, and the existence of the UID number, and its working, could result in increasing the potential for surveillance
  • Profiling
  • Tracking
  • Convergence, by which those with access to state power, as well as companies, could collate information about each individual with the help of the UID number.

National IDs have been abandoned in the US, Australia and the newly-elected British government. The reasons have predominantly been:  costs and privacy. If it is too expensive for the US with a population of 308 million, and the UK with 61 million people, and Australia with 21 million people, it is being asked why India thinks it can prioritise its spending in this direction. In the UK, the Home Secretary explained that they were abandoning the project because it would otherwise be `intrusive bullying’ by the state, and that the government intended to be the `servant’ of the people, and not their `master’. Is there a lesson in it for us? In the late nineties, the Supreme Court of Philippines struck down the President’s Executive Order A.O 308 which instituted a biometric based national ID system calling it unconstitutional on two grounds – the overreach of the executive over the legislative powers of the congress and invasion of privacy. The same is applicable in India – UIDAI has been constituted on the basis of a GoI notification and there is a fundamental risk to civil liberties with the convergence of UID, NATGRID etc.

The UIDAI is still at the stage of conducting pilot studies. The biometric pilot study has reportedly already thrown up problems especially among the poor whose fingerprints are not stable, and whose iris scans suffer from malnourishment related cataract and among whom the incidence of corneal scars is often found. The project is clearly still in its inception. The project should be halted before it goes any further and the prelude to the project be attended to, the public informed and consulted, and the wisdom of the project determined. The Draft Bill too needs to be publicly debated. This is a project that could change the status of the people in this country, with effects on our security and constitutional rights, and a consideration of all aspects of the project should be undertaken with this in mind.

We, therefore, ask that:

  • The project be halted
  • A feasibility study be done covering all aspects of this issue
  • Experts be tasked with studying its constitutionality
  • The law on privacy be urgently worked on (this will affect matters way beyond the UID project)
  • A cost : benefit analysis be done
  • A public, informed debate be conducted before any such major change be brought in.

This Statement was issued to the Press on 28th September, 2010 in New Delhi

List of signatories to the Statement on the UID

Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India    satgamaya@dataone.in

Prof Romila Thapar, Historian    romila.thapar@gmail.com

K.G.Kannabiran, Senior Civil Liberties Lawyer       kg.kannabiran@gmail.com

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL and Right to Food Campaign      <kavisriv@gmail.com>

Aruna Roy, MKKS, Rajasthan     <arunaroy@gmail.com>

Nikhil Dey, MKKS, Rajasthan     <nikhildey@gmail.com>

S.R.Sankaran, Retired Secretary, Government of India

Deep Joshi, Independent Consultant     <deepjoshi97@gmail.com>

Upendra Baxi, Jurist and ex-Vice Chancellor of Universities of Surat and Delhi   BaxiUpendra@aol.com

Uma Chakravarthi, Historian     <umafam@gmail.com>

Shohini Ghosh, Teacher and Film Maker   <shohini.ghosh@gmail.com>

Amar Kanwar, Film Maker    <amarkanwar@gmail.com>

Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karamchari Andolan     <skandolan@gmail.com>

Trilochan Sastry, IIMB, and Association for Democratic Reforms    trilochans@iimb.ernet.in

Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, ex- IIMA, and Association for Democratic Reforms     <jchhokar@gmail.com

Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD      <shabnamhashmi@gmail.com>

Justice A.P.Shah, Retired Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi     ajitprakashshah@gmail.com

ATTN -Call 09266802178 to demand repeal of Sedition Law

Support the campaign of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) to repeal the draconian SEDITION LAW created by the British to stifle India’s freedom movement.

Today, the law is used in democratic India by the government to suppress criticism and crush dissent in violation of our Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, including the Right to Dissent.

We need your support to spread the campaign, so please urge everyone you know to call 09266802178 and pledge their support in demanding the repeal of this anti-democratic law.


PUCL writes to Human Rights Community

Letter to the Human Rights community

                                                                                       21st November, 2012


All the Many persons – friends of PUCL, members of PUCL – present and former, and others from the human rights fraternity  who contacted the PUCL.

I thank all of you who wrote or spoke to us to express your sense of outrage, anger and opposition to the selection of Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of UIDAI to deliver the 6th Tarkunde Memorial Lecture with the demand that PUCL disassociate with the event. Many persons also wanted clarification on our stand on the UIDAI. We had issued a statement where we made explicit that our opposition to UDIAI has not changed nor our continuing to oppose the UID project. We had also spoken to and followed by writing to the organisers informing our stand on UIDAI, that selection of a person like Mr. Nilekani is  contradictory to the very ideals that Justice Tarkunde’s  work and persona reflected, and therefore the demand for calling off the lecture as also that we did not want to be associated with the event. The organisers had also accepted our request and agreed not to associate PUCL with the event .

We share with the human rights community both our statement as also the communication to the organisers of the Lecture.

This entire incident has made us realise the tremendous sense of respect and good will that PUCL has amongst the human rights community in India and the onerous responsibility that it casts on us to continue to contribute and strengthen the human rights movement in India.

I would like through this mail, to extend an invitation to all those who have contacted us as also the many others in the  human rights community who shared the sentiments of those who actually wrote or contacted us, to continue to dialogue, interact and involve themselves with the PUCL movement.

I would also like to extend an invitation to all friends from the rights movement to participate in the XI PUCL National Convention that is to take place in Jaipur on 1stand 2nd December, 2012 on the theme, `People’s Insecurity in the name of National Security: Citizens’ Rights, Democracy and State Terrorism. The invitation and details of the thematic sessions can be found in the PUCL website.

In solidarity,

Dr. V. Suresh, National General Secretary (Elect), PUCL


IMMEDIATE RELEASE-PUCL’s letter to Tarkunde Memorial Foundation


20th November, 2012


Ms. Manik Karanjawala,

The Tarkunde Memorial Foundation, New Delhi.


Dear Ms. Manik,

We are writing to you about the 6th Tarkunde Memorial Lecture to be addressed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI on 23rd November, 2012.

PUCL has consistently opposed the UIDAI project and unequivocally opposed the project on grounds of being an unacceptable intrusion by the State into citizen’s right to privacy, as having questionable motives and constituting a serious threat to human rights, amongst other reasons. We have also opposed UIDAI as being part of a larger corporate-centric and driven project seeking to push technocratic solution to critical issues of governance failures which cannot be rectified by UIDAI. This being our stand, we find ourselves unable to associate ourselves with the choice of Mr. Nandan Nilekani as speaker for the lecture.   (Please see the attached letter issued on this way back in 2010 in which Mr. Kannabiran was also a signatory).

We are informed that Sacharji has already spoken to you about this and that you had agreed not to associate PUCL’s name with the lecture. We thank you for accepting our request and dropping the name of PUCL from the publications, banners or publicity material connected with this lecture which you confirmed to Kavita Srivastava too.

The PUCL and the larger human rights community holds  Justice Tarkunde in high esteem even today, for  his incredible contribution as a civil liberties champion along with his role in founding and shaping an  organisation like the PUCL. There is a lot of outrage that the speaker chosen to deliver the lecture should be associated with an issue which the human rights community finds contradictory to the very ideals that Justice Tarkunde’s  work and persona reflected.

It is for these reasons the demand for calling off the lecture by the larger human rights community should be appreciated and respected.

We are sorry if we have caused you any embarassment.

With regards,

                  Dr. V. Suresh,

                  National General Secretary (Elect), PUCL.

Justice for Saraswati Devi – Casteist Harassment #dignity4all

Physical assault on Dalit women by PDS dealer (retired from Armed Forces) in Patan, Dist. Palamau, Jharkhand
Report of the joint fact-finding exercise by a team of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Palamau and Right to Food Campaign, Palamau

A  joint fact -finding exercise was conducted by the PUCL and RTFC Palamau   on 29.07.12  after  all major  newspapers reported  on 28.07.12 of  a physical assault on a Dalit woman by a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop dealer in Gaharpatra village, Panchayat Hisra Barwadih, Patan block of Palamau district.  Members of this team were Jawahar Mehta, Shabbir Ahmed, Mithilesh Kumar, Birendar Kumar, Rajesh Vishwakarma, Ramanek and Shubham.
On the morning of 26th of July, 2012, around 9 am, a group of women  (Saraswati Devi, Poona Devi, Pankaliya Devi and others)  from the  Jeervataan-Harijan tola  (a Dalit hamlet in the village)   in Gaharpatra  went to the PDS shop whose dealer is Lalmani  Singh, an ex-Armed Forces person. They had heard of ration being distributed at other places. They
enquired about their ration which they are supposed to receive every month; it was pending since the last  4months.

When the women asked Lalmani Singh as to why they aren’t getting the ration since 4 months, he  shouted at
them saying  they won’t get any ration for the next six months as well. He dared them to go to any authority and do whatever  he won’t give them ration. When they again requested to the dealer that in this drought like condition, they need the ration to
survive, he started abusing the women and asked them to get out of his  place.  He also took out his gun and said he would shoot them then and there.

The women  asked him not to use abusive language and said that there are women in his family also and he should respect them.  On this,  Lalmani  Singh, his son Azad Singh and his grandson, Regal Singh  became very angry and said “You Chamarin (lower caste woman) want to match our women?”and started beating up whoever was caught.

Out of his fear  and guns, some of the women ran away from his place but  Lalmani  Singh and others caught Saraswati Devi and beat her with his gun, repeatedly slapping, punching and  ramming  her on ground.  She became unconscious because of the severe beating and was taken to the Primary Health Centre, Patan block with the help of some villagers where she was treated.
An FIR has been lodged against Rajmuni Singh and others by Saraswati devi with the help of other villagers and member of the Panchayat Samiti, Kamuda Devi at the Police Station in Patan.  The Sub-divisional Officer, Daltonganj, Deputy Commissioner,  Palamau and Superintendent of Police, Palamau have also been informed about the case and a copy has been submitted to them.The receiving copy of the FIR says that the case has been registered under IPC 341, 323, 504, 34 and
SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
Saraswati Devi narrates her trauma to the team while other women surround The women said that we received such a violent, abusive and insulting response even after using respectable language for the dealer.  “Despite using locally very respectable salutations like Babu Saheb and Gaunwa for the dealer, he abused us so badly and even used our caste names very insultingly.  It was our right and an entitlement from the government that we were asking for.After this incident, we feel so terrorized that we wouldn’t be able to go to ask for our ration for a long time. He and his men
are still threatening us. They tried to stop  us  from reporting to the police, the  DC and SDO. They say that if we raise this issue, they would kill us! They freely roam around with fire-arms. ”Other than the women whom the dealer had assaulted, the
people in the village said that the dealer had been very irregular in giving rations. He had been  filing false entries in the ration cards of the villagers. “If we go for buying kerosene, he would also fill in the entry for grains and give us none”, they said. The people in the village showed forged entries  in their cards to the team. It was also reported that there is a significant number of poor people in the village who do not have ration cards.

Lalmani Singh belongs to the Rajput caste and is locally a feared man. He and his men carry guns openly in the village and as per the locals, his son Azad Singh has already been arrested before for various cases. The most important part is that Lalmani Singh has retired from the Armed Forces. This clearly establishes that caste based discrimination  and atrocities  can be committed even by people who are onsidered to be heroes in our society.
PUCL and RTFC, Palamau demand the following for Saraswati Devi and others:
1.  Immediate Arrest of Lalmani Singh, Azad Singh and Regal Singh
2.  Cancellation of license for PDS shop of Lalmani Singh
3.  Punishment to Lalmani Singh for irregularity in ration distribution
4.  Immediate distribution of pending rations to all the card holders.
5.  Compensation to Saraswati Devi and payment of legal expenses.
6.  Issue of ration cards to eligible  people in the village who currently do not have cards (a
significant number of poor people in the village mostly from SC communities do not have
ration cards while most of the upper caste people have it)


Update on Seema Azad Case- Protest on June 26th- Emergency Day

Kavita Srivastava-
This is short note to give you a quick update in the Seema Azad case.
At a few hours notice a meeting was called on the 13th of June, 2012 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation against the conviction by a trial court sentencing  the Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay to life imprisonment. the meeting was called to share the travesty of justice in the flawed judgement condemning Ms Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay for life in prison on ridiculous grounds. Seema Azad the organising secretary of PUCL, Uttar Pradesh is a cultural and literary activist based in Allahabad. She was the editor of Dastak, a monthly magazine.


 The Delhi meeting was attended by more than 35 persons who  included Justice Rajinder Sachar, ex chief justice of the Delhi and Sikkim high Court, and former president of the PUCL,  Ravi Kiran Jain, Vice President PUCL and Senior Counsel Supreme Court & Allahabad High Court and was her lawyer for Seema; Shri Anand Swaroop Varma, Editor of Teesri Duniya and writer; Neelabh, poet and writer, Harish Dhawan of the PUDR, Chhittranjan Singh, Mahipal singh and Kavita Srivastava from the PUCL, Harsh Dhobal from HRLN, Madhuresh from NAPM, Roma and AShok Chowdhary from the National Forum for forest workers and forest people, journalist Bhasha Singh, Literary critic Ajay Singh, Adiyog from Lucknow, ND Pancholi from PUCL Delhi, Mahtab from the FPHRD along with several other activists, lawyers and literary persons.
The meeting began with Mr. Chittranjan Singh welcoming all and stating the two fold agenda of the meeting, which was mainly sharing of the critique of the judgement and planning the campaign activities.
Mr. Ravi Kiran jain presented the critique. the 70 page judgement, showed no evidence. According to Mr Jain the case at no stage went never went beyond the FIR. Infact the incriminating piece of evidence that the police had tried to show,  were mainly books and pamphlets and other “Maoist” literature that they were supposed to be carrying and had on their body at the time of their arrest on the 6th of February, 2012, Mr, Jain clarified that under no circumstance any of this could be counted as evidence, as the police had broken the seals of the packets without taking the magistrates permission and therefore tampering and planting of material could not be ruled out.
Secondly, the police had taken Seema’s remand illegally after the completion of ninety days, which is not permissible. During this two day remand they  had taken her to her house, where they showed the recovery of two mobiles and some more literature. Apart from the fact that the remand itself was illegal and had been challenged in the Allahabad High Court where a recall application was pending. The proper search was not carried out as according to CrPC rules and therefore planting of material was possible. .
Apart from this there was no other shred of evidence, although the prosecution tried to string together Seema’s case with one other case made out in Gorakhpur and 2 cases of Kanpur,  where according to the police they picked up several maoists, who were actively involved with the CPI (maoist) party. They tried to show how they had seized the same literature and there were some confessions of some other prisoners which showed that they were Maoists.  Which goes against the Indian jurisprudence where confession in front of police is not addmissable as evidence.
It was shocking to read that Seema had been convicted for sec 13 (punishment for indulging in unlawful), 18( punishment for conspiracy), 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang), 38 (membership of a terrorist gang), and 39 (providing support to a terrorist organisation ) of the UAPA amended 2004 and 2008, and u/s 120, 121 and 121(A) of the IPC.
 It also came as a rude shock to all that that Seema had been sentenced to 10 year rigorous imprisonment in most of the above sections along with fines of 5000 to 10 thousand rupees. except in 13 where is it was 5 years rigorous imprisonment. She was also sentenced to life u/s 121, waging war against state.
For those who are not aware rigorous imprisonment means working in either the factory of the jail or in the kitchen
Mr Ravi Kiran Jain shared with all that the criminal appeal would be filed in the Allahabad High Court very soon. although they have sixty days but they would not wait in this case.
Mr Anand Swaroop Varma and Neelabh Ashk shared the possible campaign that we could undertake.
 It was decided  that
  1. 15th June : Press conference exposing the travesty of justice condemning Seema to life, will be addressed by Justice Sachar, Ravi Kiran Jain, Anand Swaroop Varma and Neelabh Ashk will address, Ravi kiran jain will present the legal critique.
  2. 26th June: Emergency Day : PUCL Convention against the judgement in the Seema Azad case, all groups will be invited to participate . Along with condemning the judgement a campaign for the release of Seema Azad will also be planned. A poster will also be released for this purpose.  A critique of the judgement will be presented which will be prepared by Ravi Kiran Jain, Harish Dhawan, Neelabh Mishra and Anand Swaroop in English and Hindi and will not be longer than 5-6 pages.
  3. 25th June : Delhi activists to protest outside UP Bhawan.
  4. The entire judgement will be translated in english, which is being coordinated by Harish Dhawan.
  5. It was also planned that Allahabad and Lucknow must have protests, probably several groups are already planning this. Also a letter to Akhilesh Yadava against this conviction.

PUCL statement on the Supreme Court granting bail to Dr Khaleel Chishty

Given below is the statement of the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES on the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday to grant bail to Dr Khaleel Chishty. Given below the statement is the full text of the court order

The PUCL is extremely relieved that the SC decided to set free from the Prison 80 year old Dr. Khalil Chishty serving a life sentence in Ajmer Central Jail for a murder case. This is an extremely significant step but not sufficient as bail for Dr. Chishty as seen earlier when the trial was underway for 19 years, was like house arrest. he had to report regularly to the police and could not step out of his house and area. We hope that the next step of sending Dr. Chishty back home happens soon as it would be better for all that we send him back alive, when he can be with those who care for him and love. The PUCL appreciates the wisdom of the Supreme Court for this judgement.
While Judicial remedy would be pursued in the Supreme Court, we would like to remind all that the executive remedy as provided in the Indian Constitution of President and the Governot of a State granting Mercy to an individual at any stage of the judicial process, was stalled by the Governor of Rajasthan, who despite being recommended twice by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan that Dr. Chishty be pardoned, the Governor only let the file gather dust.
We take this opportunity in the interest of justice as well as strengthening further the relationships between the two countries and urge the Governor Sh. Shivraj Patil to sign the Mercy PEtition
Similarly the PUCL is committed to ensure the release of Sarabjeet who has been put on a death row and behind bars since 22 years in an alleged terror case. We urge the President of Pakistan to pardon him, commuting the death sentence to life and granting him safe passage home to India.
We are,
Prem Krishna Sharma (President)
Kavita Srivastava (General Secretary)
Radha Kant Saxena (Vice President)
D L Tripathi (Vice President)
Nishat Hussein (Vice President)
Anant Bhatnagar (Ajmer Secretary)




Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).1493/2012

(From the judgement and order(s) in CRA No. 189/2011 dated 20-DEC-11





(With appln(s) for bail,permission to file additional documents and office report)

WITH SLP(Crl) NO. 2301 of 2012

(With appln. for bail and office report)

Date: 09/04/2012 These petitions were called on for hearing today.




For Petitioner(s) Mr. U.U.. Lalit,Sr.Adv.

In SR 1493/12 Mr. Nitin Sangra,Adv.

Mr. Gaurav Agrawal,Adv.

In SR 2301/12 Mr. Ravindra S. Garia,Adv.

For Respondent(s) Mr. Rahul Verma,Adv.

Ms. Pragati Neekhra,Adv.

In SR 2301/12 Mr. Jasbir Singh Malik,AAG

Ms. Manju Jana,Adv.

Mr. Irshad Ahmed,Adv.

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following


In SLP(Crl.)No.1493 of 2012

Heard both sides.

Permission to file additional documents is granted.

Leave granted.

With regard to the application for bail, Mr. Lalit, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant has stated that the appellant is 80 years old as on date and resident of Karachi. He further stated that he is in Ajmer for the last 20 years. It is also pointed out by the senior counsel for the appellant that the main witnesses viz. PW-4 and PW-5 did not attribute any specific over act to the appellant and according to him it is a case of free fight. By pointing out all these details, he prayed that he may be enlarged on bail.

On the other hand, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State of Rajasthan submitted that the Courts below had relied upon evidence of PW-3 and in addition to the same, he being a Pakistani national, it is not desirable to release him on bail at his juncture.

We have considered the rival submissions and also perused the relevant materials.

Taking note of his present age and also considering the fact that he was in Ajmer for the last 20 years and the evidence of PW-4 and PW-5 and without expressing anything on the merits of the case, we are satisfied that the appellant has made out a case for enlarging him on bail. Accordingly, the appellant is ordered to be released on bail in Sessions Case No. 157 of 2001 to the satisfaction of the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, (Fast Track) No.1, Ajmer.

The Additional Sessions Judge is free to impose appropriate condition including surrendering of passport if he has not surrendered earlier.

Learned senior counsel for the appellant has also prayed for a specific permission to visit his country and also to reside at Delhi till the disposal of the appeal. In the absence of the separate petition giving adequate reasons, we are not inclined to grant such permission. However, appellant is free to file such application/(s) giving adequate reasons.

Crl.M.P. for bail is disposed of.

In SLP(Crl.)No.2301 of 2012

Leave granted.

List the Crl.M.P. for bail after two weeks.

[Madhu Bala] [Savita Sainani]

Sr.PA Court Master




Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).2301/2012

(From the judgement and order dated 20/12/2011 in CRA No.188/2011,


Koodankulam a national shame, says Binayak Sen


Over 5,000 protesters demand scrapping of Kudankulam project

Jan 27,CHENNAI: Even as the anti-nuclear stir on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) continues, noted human rights activist and public health specialist Dr Binayak Sen slammed the project calling it a “national shame”.
Speaking to Express after attending the TANKER awards function in the city, Sen said plainly, “It is obviously a huge risk and the fact that they are going ahead with it is shameful.”
When informed that a special emissary from Prime Minister’s Office, Minister Narayanaswamy, had just then confirmed that the plant would be commissioned as planned, he pinpointed the risks the project posed to the people and environment. “If not for anything else, see what happened in Fukushima. Do we (dare) risk a repeat?” he asked.
The national vice-president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Sen was appreciative of the way the people had risen as a community and opposed the nuclear plant. “It is heartening to see the way they have acted for their rights,” he said.
On the ongoing trial in his alleged links with Maoists in Chhattisgarh, the paediatrician who worked for over three decades in community health seemed surprisingly at ease. “The trial is on, but I am not really sure when the next hearing is,” he said. “I am not too worried as I have not done anything wrong.”
On the health front, Sen accused the government of projecting a “fictional” figure of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR). “Several governmental agencies have published MMR figures that ranged between 200 and 300 deaths per one lakh live births. But in reality that number is between 400 and 500,” he said. A recipient of the prestigious Jonathan Mann Award for Health and Human Rights, Sen’s love for his alma mater — Christian Medical College in Vellore — remains strong. He cut short his visit to Chennai to drive down to the Fort City on Wednesday.


Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists


Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


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