Mere criticism is not #sedition, govt says in draft guidelines #draconianlaws #justice


Published: Friday, Oct 19, 2012, 19:33 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Having burnt its fingers over the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, the Maharashtra government today submitted a draft circular to the Bombay High Court, which says that a criticism of political leaders or government per se does not call for pressing of the charge of `sedition‘.

Advocate General Darius Khambata submitted a six-point circular to the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice NM Jamdar during the hearing of public interest litigation filed by lawyer Sanskar Marathe against Trivedi’s arrest on sedition charge.Trivedi was arrested over some of his cartoons that allegedly insulted the national emblem and the Parliament.At an earlier hearing, high court had granted bail to Trivedi and come down heavily on the police for arresting him on “frivolous grounds” and “without application of mind”.

The government had also stated then that it was dropping the charge of sedition, and would come out with a circular specifying the limitations and parameters for application of sedition charge in future.The draft circular submitted today says that sedition charge would apply if the act creates disaffection towards the government and incites violence.

“Words, signs or representations must bring the government into hatred or contempt or must cause or attempt to cause disaffection, enmity or disloyalty to the government. They must be incitement to violence or must be intended to create public disorder….” it says.Words, signs of representations against politicians or public servants per se do not fall under the category of sedition.”Comments expressing disapproval or criticism of the government with a view to obtaining change of government by lawful means are not seditious under section 124 (a) of IPC.

Obscenity or vulgarity should also not be taken into account under this charge,” the circular reads.Further, says the circular, police officials should seek a legal opinion in writing from the law officer, followed by that of the public prosecutor, before applying sedition charge against any person.

The court today heard arguments of Khambata, Marathe and Trivedi’s lawyer advocate Mihir Desai on whether the HC needs to include any more guidelines. But no order was passed.Trivedi, though the sedition charge has been dropped, will still have to face a case under National Honor Act and Information Technology Act for three of his cartoons which were also put on internet.The Kanpur-based cartoonist, associated with Anna Hazare‘s anti-corruption movement, was arrested on September 8, which had led to public outcry.

India- Children slapped with sedition charges #WTFnews


4 children arrested near Idinthakarai face sedition charges

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu

A Coast Guard aircraft flies over anti-nuclear protestors, who began a jal satyagraha against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) by standing the whole day in the sea on Thursday. The year-long protest turned violent on Monday. PTI Photo
A Coast Guard aircraft flies over anti-nuclear protestors, who began a jal satyagraha against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) by standing the whole day in the sea on Thursday. The year-long protest turned violent on Monday. PTI Photo

Four boys, aged between 15 and 16 years, who were arrested by the police during and after Monday’s clash between the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protesters and the police near Idinthakarai, are now facing serious charges including sedition.

All the four – one each from Vairaavikinaru, Idinthakarai and two from Kudankulam – have been lodged in the Juvenile Home on the South Bypass Road near the western entrance of Vaeinthaankulam New Bus Stand in Tirunelveli.

If the sedition charges framed against them are proved, they can be punished with imprisonment for life.

The Kudankulam police have registered a case against the boy from Vairaavikinaru under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 431 (damaging road, bridge, river, channel etc.), 121(A) (conspiring to overawe, by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force, the Central Government or any State Government), 395 (dacoity), 307 (attempt to murder) r/w 149 IPC (unlawful assembly) and Sec 3 of TNPPDL Act (causing damage to public property).

The boy from Idinthakarai, who was reportedly arrested during the clash, is facing charges under Sections 147, 148, 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) r/w 144 Cr. P. C and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation), 294 (b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 307, 427 (mischief to cause minor damage) IPC r/w 149 IPC and Section 13 of Unlawful Assembly Act and Section 3 of TNPPDL Act.

Of the four, the children from Kundankulam are facing grave charges as they have been booked under Sections 147,148, 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 431, 188 IPC r/w 144 Cr. P. C., ,291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue), 294(b), 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India), 124(A) (sedition) 307 IPC r/w 149 IPC and 3 of TNPPDL ACT and Section 4 of Endangered Species Act.

Sedition Law is against spririt of Democracy- Binayak Sen


Kractivism in Actionp- Free Binayak Sen Campaign

Kractivism in Actionp- Free Binayak Sen Campaign

Binayak Sen

I was convicted of sedition (section 124 of the IPC) on December 24 (Christmas eve), 2009, and awarded life imprisonment by the additional sessions judge, Raipur. I had already spent two years in jail as an undertrial before the Supreme Court granted me bail. Following my conviction, another four months was spent in a solitary cell before the Supreme Court suspended the sentence and granted bail, remarking in the process that there did not seem to be any evidence against me.

A hearing of my appeal in the Chhattisgarh High Court is now awaited. Afew days ago, human rights organizations gathered in Delhi to welcome back from jail Seema Azaad, the general secretary of the UP PUCL. She had also been convicted of sedition and awarded life sentence on the basis of some innocuous documents found in her possession , and then was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court after having spent two-and-a-half years in jail. I was reminded of all these events when i joined the Mumbai Press Club to greet the young cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi, following his release from jail on September 12. He had spent four days in jail after being charged with sedition , allegedly because of the content of some of his cartoons .

These charges were deemed to be so patently absurd that Aseem’s incarceration aroused a storm of protest, resulting in his prompt release. Sedition is said to have occurred when any attempt is made to bring the government of the day into disaffection . Mohandas Gandhi was convicted of sedition by the British Imperial government in 1922. Arguing his own case, Gandhi told the judge that he had no affection for the British government and, moreover, he felt it was his duty to inform his fellow citizens as to why he had no affection for it.

While convicting Gandhi, the British judge felt it necessary to apologize to Gandhi for his act, to which he was bound by his duty as a judge. Such stories are part of the folklore of sedition, and create the impression that sedition is about well-known or relatively resourceful people standing up to a bumbling state power. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most important lesson i learnt in jail was that there are vast numbers of people accused of sedition and incarcerated for this reason. To take just one example, several hundred very ordinary men and women participating in the peaceful anti-nuclear agitation in Kudankulam have been charged with sedition. The state today stands guarantor, under the doctrine of eminent domain, to a country-wide process of expropriation of common property resources — land, water, forest, minerals and traditional knowledge such as knowledge of biodiversity.

Communities, whose survival is dependent on their access to common property resources, find their survival threatened by this process of expropriation. Resisting this process becomes key to the survival of these communities , and the law of sedition is one of the important resources deployed by the state in order to suppress this entirely legitimate resistance. Communities cannot be expected to acquiesce in their own extinction, but the state seems perfectly prepared to deploy its resources, both juridical and military, in order to ensure that its writ should run. The application of sedition is also contrary to the spirit of a democratic polity. After all, the process of building up political alternatives has to be based on holding — and advocating — views that are contrary to those held by the current holders of power. Sedition serves the power holder very well, because any heterodox opinion can promptly be limited by being safely put away. Human rights workers and their organizations across the country have come together to press for repeal of the sedition law and other similar laws. They are jointly engaged in a signature campaign, and a series of public meetings, to petition Parliament for the prompt repeal of these archaic and antidemocratic legal formulations, which constitute a real danger to the development of a genuinely democratic polity. The writer is an academician, pediatrician and a human rights activist

Arrest of Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi for #sedition #FOS #FOE #Censorship


September 9, 2012 | , Vidyut,

Sarcasm should have a special font, many of my followers on Twitter have groaned. I can have a caustic wit at times, which sometimes simply states the view I wish to lampoon as a reality and lets the revulsion the reader feels speak for itself. An example would be “What is our target for rapes this year? We seem to be lagging behind. Only five today.”

The arrest of Aseem Trivedi convinces me that I am going to be arrested one day simply because some dimwit took my words at face value and interpreted them to mean a promotion of rape. Regardless of the flood of writing fighting for human rights over years.

Aseem Trivedi had a warrant out in his name. Sedition. Emblems Act. IT Act. Would not be out of place to call this a three Act drama. Is that a euphemism for three ring circus? Oh wait, does this constitute insulting the Penal code or something? I was actually insulting people using laws to punish personal distaste. But I named laws, right? Was I insulting the Indian Penal Code? Was I insulting the Judiciary? Logically, I wasn’t, but logic is in short supply these days.

P L Deshpande, in his hilarious, but heartfelt congratulatory speech during the 175th show of Sangeet Vastraharan – a highly “offensive” and devastatingly funny play spoke of criticism he faced when he endorsed the play. A rough translation would be:

When I said this play is very good, very funny, I liked it a lot, and I laughed so much that my shoulders, stomach, whatever is capable of hurting had all hurt… when I said this, at that time, many felt – I even got one or two letters – [surprised] that “*you* should call this play good surprises us”, etc. [pause] God creates people devoid of a sense of humor. If he hadn’t done that, in this country dictators wouldn’t be created. That happens only because of a lack of sense of humor. They don’t laugh, and they can’t bear to see others laugh. This is a dictatorship. These people become dictators.

Then, in such a situation, whoever turned up their noses instead of laughing uproariously, about this play, I can only tell these performers this [about them]: God gave them a nose only to turn up, not for relishing [humor].

We are increasingly losing the language of metaphors. Be it sarcasm or caricatures or plain old humor. There will always be someone outraged over your audacity to be irreverent, because it is a stick-up-ass world today, with pompous egos so fragile, they cannot sustain disagreement.

Aseem Trivedi, award winning political cartoonist is finding that out the hard way. Not all that different from JayHind finding it out a while back.

In a landmark judgment by a five judge Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice of India B P Sinha in the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the sedition provision contained in Section 124A of the IPC subject to the condition that the sedition charge can be made only against those who misuse their freedom of speech to instigate an armed rebellion against the state. The entire India Against Corruption protests totalled come nowhere remotely near any kind of armed rebellion against the state. This didn’t stop police from registering a case against him for sedition. Makes one either very worried for the state of knowledge on laws among the police, or Aseem Trivedi, depending on whose innocence you believe

Read more here arrest-of-cartoonist-aseem-trivedi-for-sedition

Allahabad HC grants bail to Seema Azad, Vishvijay convicted for #sedition #goodnews


, TNN | Aug 6, 2012, 01.45PM IST

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to journalist and civil right activistSeema Azad and her husband Vishvijay. The couple were convicted by a lower court on June 8, 2012, on charges of sedition. They were accused of having links with banned Maoist outfit and were held guilty for ‘waging war against the nation’.

The bail was granted by a division bench comprising Justice Dharnidhar Jha and Justice Akhok Pal Singh. Counsel for the couple Ravi Kiran Jain argued before the court that there was no concrete evidence with the police which can prove that the couple were engaged in naxal activity. He also said that having Naxal literature to study for the purpose of journalist does not amount to any connection with Naxals. Jain also said that Azad and her husband had exposed illegal mining being carried out in Allahabad and adjoining areas by the mafia in connivance with the government officers and police. The couple was implicated in a false case for writing about illegal mining.

Seema Azad’s case is similar to that of Dr Vinayak Sen, who was also implicated by the Chhatisgarh police, for alleged naxal connections. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) chapters of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have welcomed the court’s decision.

“We had full confidence in the judician system,” said Vandana Mishra, secretary PUCL, UP. At the time of arrest Seema was also state secretary of the PUCL and publishing a magazine ‘Dastak’ in which she had written several articles on illegal mining. The couple were also involved in sensitising people on violation of their rights and raised human rights issues.

The Special Task Force (STF) of UP had arrested the couple in February 2010 and had claimed to have recover Maoist literature and large amount of cash from their possession. They were charged with having association with a banned organization, the Communist Party of India(Maoist). After arrest, the STF handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of UP making it a case involving ‘terrorist activity’. In its charge sheet submitted in the court, the ATS claimed that the couple were involved in inciting people through CD, laptops and books. The court held the couple guilty and awarded them life term.

After detaining the couple, the police had then said that two activists were arrested at the Allahabad railway station. However, in the FIR lodged later at the Khuldabad police station, police showed that the couple were arrested by the STF from Khuldabad in Allahabad.

The police had then also claimed that it found incriminating material which included a detailed programme of Krantikari Jan Committee, pamphlets carrying message of CPI (Maoist), a pamphlet related to the arrest of Kobad Gandhi, a pamphlet on arrest of Naxal and Maoist functionaries and members in BiharJharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Letter to the NHRC- Seema Azad Case


Following is the letter submitted in Feb 2010, when Seema  was arrested alongwith her husband

Letter to the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi

We want to acknowledge you that Seema Azad, journalist, human rights worker and executive member of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), her husband former student leader Vishwavijay, and friend Asha, were detained by the police on Allahabad Railway Junction without any proper reason on Saturday(6th Feb 2010).  Both of them were returning from World Book Fair, New Delhi by the Reewanchal Express.  According to police they all are Naxalite.

Sir, the organization wants to highlight the background of detention.  PUCL has continuously raised the voice against the atrocity done by the police-Bahubalies nexus in kachhari region of Allahabad and Kausambi district on the sand mining labours.  Due to the pressure of politician and Bahubalies, DIG of Allahabad has framed many fraud cases against the labour movement leader.  DIG had banned the ‘Lal Salam‘ cited it as against the nationality.  PUCL had condemned the ban saying that it was natural address of Communist party.  According to PUCL ‘Lal Salam’ is a common address of labourer across the world.

Raising the cause of fighting labour against the illegal collection and illegal mining of sand in Nanda ka Pura village of Kausambi, the minister Seema Azad and advocate K. K. Roy of PUCL has issued a report on human rights violations.  In past one month the police and PAC jawans has unleashed the Lathicharge couple of times in Nanda ka Pura village.  Police had torched the local office of CPI (ML) New Damocracy in Nanda village.  And their leader were detained in the jail for several days in fraud cases.  The voice against them, doesn’t suit the mood of DIG of Allahabad and police.  Police doesn’t want that the voice should be raised by any organization against their working style.

The arrest of Seema Azad, her husband Vishwavijay and friend Aasha is done by the police in revenge.  Seema Azad has no connection with the Naxalites and she is working in the field of human rights for past several years.  She is also editor of a monthly magazine ‘Dastak’.  She has made reports on serious issues like human right situation in eastern Utter Pradesh, labour movement, SEZ, situation of Mushar cast and Encephalitis disease.  Vishwavijay, husband of Seema Azad, and his friend Aasha were active student leader of Central university of Allahabad for a long time.  They have strongly raised the concerned problem of students under the banner of ‘INQUALABI CHHATRA MORCHA’.  The persons which are naxalite, according to the police, are working in between students and labour for a long time.

Sir, in past also UP Police has threatened the leader of PUCL working for the human right concern.  PUCL has raised the questions against the encounter of Kamlesh Chaudhoury in Chandauly dated 9th November.  After that , in a press conference dated 11th November 2009, DGP Brijlal has articulated that “the action would be taken against the PUCL leader”(see Dainik Hindustan of November 12, 2009).  The Allahabad arrest of Seema Azad is a chain of the same retaliation.

Hence, we appeal for the prompt action in the matter and also we appeal that police atrocity and human right violation should be stopped.  We also demand that Seema Azad and her friend should be released as soon as possible.

– Sincerely

Vandana Mishra, General Secretary, PUCL, U.P.
Chitranjan Singh, National Secretary, PUCL
K.K. Roy, Advocate, state executive member, PUCL
Ravikiran Jain, state executive member, PUCL
Satendra Singh, Convener, People’s Union for Human Rights (PUHR)
Sandeep Pandey, winner of Magsaysay award and state executive member, PUCL
S. R. Darapuri, former police director, state executive member, PUCL
Anshu Malviya, Shehri Garib Sangharsh Morcha
Shahnawaz Alam, Organization Secretary, PUCL
Rajeev Yadav, Organization Secretary, PUCL
Vijay Pratap, freelance journalist and human rights worker

More sedition cases against anti-nuke protestors than Maoists, militants


More sedition cases against anti-nuke protestors than Maoists, militants

by Pallavi Polanki Apr 21, 2012, FirstPost

The speed and determination with which the Tamil Nadu government has been slapping its citizens right, left and centre with colonial-era laws, it would seem as if a full-fledged war of independence is raging in the fishing villages of Idinthakarai and Kudankulam along the coast of Tamil Nadu.

According to findings by a team led senior journalist Sam Rajappa, in just four months between September (when the protest movement against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant began to gather momentum) and December 2011, over 6,000 people have been charged under Section 121 (waging war against the government) and Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Kudankulam police station.

The majority of the cases are against PMANE convenor SP Udayakumar. Firstpost

Commenting on the report Nityanand Jayaraman, a member of the Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle said, “The Kudankulam police station has the dubious distinction, perhaps, of being a station where the largest number of sedition and waging war cases have been filed in the shortest time in the history of colonial and Independent India.”

In comparison, in militancy-hit Jammu & Kashmir, in 2011, between 600-800 people were booked for sedition, according to human rights lawyers.

In Jharkhand, a state facing the Maoist-led insurgency, Anurag Gupta, Inspector General (Organised Crime) said, “We have no record of these cases in 2011. But our records are not perfect, there might have been a few cases. However, for terrorism-related activities, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is invoked.”

To book fisherfolk – most of them women and children on a relay hunger strike – on terror charges especially after both the foreign-hand theory and the Maoist theory failed to stick, surely would have attracted a lot of media attention.

The sedition charge, on the other hand, is a far more convenient weapon that has been repeatedly used by the state every time it has wanted to silence dissenters.

Explaining how data on the cases was compiled, Jayaraman said, “We weren’t given this information from the police station. We made requests to get the details. It took us seven days to compile it. Between September and December, 107 separate FIRS were registered under various section of IPC, including Section 121 and 124A.”

“If you add the number of accused in the FIRs it comes to 55,795. The FIRs don’t tell you who the 55,000-odd people are. The FIRs are registered like this: Udayakumar and 2000 others. Now, who the 2000 are is left to the discretion of the police,” he said.

The main accused in many of the FIRs, not unexpectedly, is SP Udayakumar, who is leading the anti-nuclear protests from Idinthakarai village.

Vijayendra Bidari, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Tirunelveli district, where Kudankulam and Idinthakarai are located, rejected the figures quoted by the fact-finding team.

“It is totally wrong. It will be around 40-50 people. They don’t have the FIRs. In multiple cases, the accused are the same. So if you keep adding the same names, the number will be more. It is totally false,” said Bidari.

Contesting the SP’s claim, Jayaraman quotes an example of a single FIR where more than 3,000 people have been charged with sedition and waging war against the government.

“FIR, crime no. 372/11, was filed on November 21, 2011. The complainant is recorded as Nathan Elango. And a case has been registered against ‘Udayakumar and 3,000 others’ on whom various sections of the IPC have been put, including Section 121 and Section 124A.”

Bidari, however, played down the Kudankulam police station’s record-breaking performance in registering FIRs.

“The FIRs have been registered and the cases are under investigation. We haven’t filed any charge sheet yet. Only after investigations, it will be clearer what the sections are, how valid the sections and whether we file the charge sheet or not. The FIRs are given by the local people and based on the content the sections are attracted. Whether a case is made out or not is up to the investigating officer. Let them investigate the case. Only when it put up before the court, can we say that these are the charges,” he said.

The senior police official also rejected the “false allegation” that the mad rush for registering such cases was designed to intimidate and harass the protestors. “It is not true at all. From the beginning the protestors have been putting this false allegation on the police. There is no harassment,” Bidari said.

Describing the absurdity of the police action as “a parody of law”, senior journalist Sam Rajappa who led the fact-finding team, in a press statement said: “The Tamil Nadu CM belongs right up there with Mamata Banerjee for her vengeful use of the Indian Penal Code to suppress any contrary voices.”

Sedition, Free Speech and Koodankulam: Video interviews


On 6 April, 2012, Poovulagin Nanbargal and Campaign for Justice and Peace-TN organised a panel discussion titled
“The Use and Abuse of Sedition and Other Laws to Stifle Democratic Dissent“Here’re short interviews with the panelists. The film was shot and edited by Siddharth Muraleedharan, an young activist from Chennai.

1. Interview with Dr. Usha Ramanathan, Legal Scholar

2. Interview with Adv. R. Vaigai, Madras High Court

3. Interview with Adv. M. Vetriselvan, Madras High Court (Speaking on Koodankulam — Tamil).

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,233 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,766,155 hits

Archives

November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
%d bloggers like this: