Just in case: On courts and the tenability of the Bhima Koregaon case August 12, 2022

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/just-in-case-the-hindu-editorial-on-courts-and-the-tenability-of-the-bhima-koregaon-case/article65758139.ece

. The Bhima Koregaon case is an off-shoot of disturbances that took place during a commemorative event on December 31, 2017, in Pune. It was used to rope in lawyers and activists and build a case of an alleged Maoist plot to overthrow the government. There are credible reports that electronic evidence in the case could have been planted using spyware to implicate the accused. It is time the courts examined the core question whether the case itself is tenable or one fabricated to corner some activists. The judiciary should not countenance the prolonged incarceration of anyone in a case of doubtful validity.

Why did India's media ignore Wired story on police planting evidence against Bhima Koregaon activists? https://www.newslaundry.com/2022/07/14/why-did-indias-media-ignore-wired-story-on-police-planting-evidence-against-bhima-koregaon-activists Much of the legacy media is doing itself a disservice by neglecting big-impact stories and small-town staff.
By Kalpana Sharma 14 Jul, 2022

SentinelOne, has released the startling finding that the hackers who broke into the phones and laptops of the activists did so on the directions of none other than the Pune police, the very people who had announced the “conspiracy” for which the BK 16 were picked up and incarcerated.

Although the company has identified the Pune police official linked to the hacking, it hasn’t made their details public yet. It is expected to do so at the Black Hat security conference, slated to be held in Las Vegas, United States, in August.

Such a story ought to have triggered a major response from the Indian media. After all, it was reported not by an unknown media organisation, but by a well-respected tech magazine.

Surprisingly, barring a few newspapers like the Telegraph and the Hindustan Times that reported on the investigation, the news was largely ignored by the Indian media with the exception of independent digital news platforms.

Lawyer-Activist Sudha Bharadwaj Released After 3 Years In Jail https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sudha-bharadwaj-released-from-jail-in-elgar-parishad-bhima-koregaon-case-2643670 
The case is yet to go to trial, and Ms Bharadwaj was released from the Byculla women's prison after the NIA court set bail conditions yesterday. 

Rights group People's Union for Civil Liberties welcomed the default bail granted to Sudha Bharadwaj and said that it sees it "as a vindication of the long campaign against the UAPA by the PUCL and other allied groups. It indicates a shift in the larger public mood and judicial mindset towards acknowledging the UAPA as an unjust and undemocratic tool to stifle any viewpoint which the government considers problematic." Dr. V. Suresh, General Secretary of PUCL, said that the organisation's "ultimate objective" is the repeal of the controversial anti-terror law UAPA and ensure the release of all who have been "unjustly imprisoned" under it. The civil rights organisation is also campaigning for the withdrawal of prosecution against all 16 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.

Lawyer-Activist Sudha Bharadwaj Released After 3 Years In Jail Dec 9, 2021  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE0DNipVYYw  Lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the 16 people arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, was released this morning after spending over three years in jail. The Supreme Court had two days ago rejected the National Investigation Agency's plea to stay the default bail granted to her by the Bombay High Court on December 1. "We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order. Plea dismissed," a bench of Justices UU Lalit, SR Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi had said, clearing her release.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=329175719389003  भीमा कोरेगांव केस: पुणे पुलिस का एक अधिकारी कार्यकर्ताओं के कंप्यूटर हैक करने और जाली सबूत बनाने में शामिल था. नई स्वतंत्र जांच में हुआ खुलासा. #भीमाकोरेगांव मामले में फंसाए गए सभी कार्यकर्ताओं को रिहा करो. #BhimaKoregaon इस विषय पर कविता कृष्णन का वक्तव्य.

Communist Party of India -Marxist Leninist- Liberation CPIML 16 hrs ·https://www.facebook.com/cpimlliberation/videos/5235117093224367/

Bhima Koregaon Case: New independent investigation reveals role of Pune police cop in hacking and fabrication of evidences against activists.
Release all #BhimaKoregaon activists! Kavita Krishnan speaks on the issue.


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Bombay High Court Grants Default Bail To Sudha Bharadwaj In Bhima Koregaon Case; Refuses Bail To 8 Other Accused By - Sharmeen Hakim 2021-12-01  https://www.livelaw.in/amp/top-stories/bombay-high-court-grants-default-bail-to-sudha-bharadwaj-in-bhima-koregaon-case-refuses-bail-to-8-other-accused-186679 The High Court accepted the petitioners' argument that the Additional Sessions Court, Pune, which took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the NIA and also extended the period of detention of accused beyond 90 days as per Section 43D(2) of the UAPA, was not competent to do so. Because, the Pune Sessions Court was not notified as a Special Court under the NIA Act. Also, there was another Special NIA Court in existence in Pune at the relevant time... However, the High Court added that this irregularity will not result in vitiation of the cognizance taken on the chargesheet.

"...so far as the applicant Nos.1 to 5 in Application No.1458 of 2019, the aspect of legality or otherwise of the extension of period of detention is of no relevance as the applicants did not avail of the said right to be released on default bail before the charge-sheet was fled against them on 15th November 2018. In the case of applicant Nos. 6 to 8, though wehave held that the order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge on the report (Exh.33) on 26th November 2018 was without jurisdiction, yet the said declaration is of no assistance to the applicant Nos.6 to 8 as they did not avail of the right to be released on default bail by fling an application, after the expiry of the initial period of 90 days and before the lodging of the charge-sheet on 21st February 2019

Will the Sudha Bharadwaj Bail Order Affect the Bhima Koregaon Case as a Whole? https://www.thequint.com/news/law/impact-of-sudha-bharadwaj-bail-order-bhima-koregaon-case  Vakasha Sachdev Published: 04 Dec 2021, 9:56 AM IST 

The Bombay HC's order may not affect the merits of the case, but the issues raised could have major consequences.  On argument was .. It was not just the extension issue that had been heard and decided by a court which didn't have jurisdiction – the charge sheets against them all had also been filed before judges who didn't have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter... These same judges had then taken cognizance of the matter (on 15 November 2018 for Accused 1-5, and on 21 February 2019 for Bharadwaj and Accused 6-8), and allowed the case to proceed. .. It was therefore argued by the accused that because the charge sheets were filed before the wrong judge, and this wrong judge then took cognizance of them, everything that followed in the case stands vitiated (and hence they were entitled to default bail).

Supreme Court Dismisses NIA's Plea Challenging Default Bail To Sudha Bharadwaj In Bhima Koregaon Case  Srishti Ojha  2021-12-07  https://www.livelaw.in/amp/top-stories/supreme-court-sudha-bharadwaj-default-bail-bhima-koregaon-nia-bombay-high-court-187093 

Justice Lalit pointed out the proviso to Section 167(2) uses the word "Court" instead of "Magistrate" when it talks about the extension of the period of remand beyond 90 days. "The context of the matter is that it is only the Special Court which can take cognizance of the matter because it is the Special Court which is aware of the intricacies of the matter. These are the factors which weighed with Justice Nariman (in Bikramjit decision)", Justice Lalit observed while asking the ASG if there are any factors to take a view different from Bikramjit case.  "If there's a special court that'd be the only court which can hear this", Justice Bhat added. 

While granting bail to Bhardwaj, the High Court refused default bail to the other 8 accused in the case, after observing that they had not applied for default bail when that right had accrued to them. The High Court noted that none of them had filed an application seeking default bail at the time of expiry of 90 days of their detention.

Their case was premised on the argument that the cognizance of the chargesheet itself is vitiated, as the Court had no competence, and hence it should be presumed that no chargesheet has been filed as regards them. This was not accepted by the High Court based on the principle that mere irregularity in taking cognizance will not vitiate the proceedings. 

Special NIA Court Paves Way For Sudha Bharadwaj's Release in Bhima Koregaon Case, Sets Bail Conditions Sharmeen Hakim 8 Dec 2021 

https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/sudha-bharadwaj-bail-conditions-special-nia-court-bhima-koregaon-elgar-parishad-case-187189 

Bharadwaj has been directed to reside in Mumbai, within the Special Court's jurisdiction, and disallowed from making any public statements. The court rejected her plea to travel between Chattisgarh, Mumbai and Delhi. Advocate Yug Chaudhry for Bharadwaj said she was a practising advocate and needed to earn her livelihood.

Comment: What about the rights of her clients to representation by a lawyer of their choice?

Bombay High Court Grants Default Bail To Sudha Bharadwaj In Bhima Koregaon Case; Refuses Bail To 8 Other Accused  by Sharmeen Hakim 2021-12-01 https://www.livelaw.in/amp/top-stories/bombay-high-court-grants-default-bail-to-sudha-bharadwaj-in-bhima-koregaon-case-refuses-bail-to-8-other-accused-186679

The High Court accepted the petitioners' argument that the Additional Sessions Court, Pune, which took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the NIA and also extended the period of detention of accused beyond 90 days as per Section 43D(2) of the UAPA, was not competent to do so. Because, the Pune Sessions Court was not notified as a Special Court under the NIA Act. Also, there was another Special NIA Court in existence in Pune at the relevant time. ..However, the High Court added that this irregularity will not result in vitiation of the cognizance taken on the chargesheet.,,

As far as the other 8 applicants are concerned, the High Court noted that none of them had filed an application seeking default bail at the time of expiry of 90 days of their detention.

Their case was premised on the argument that the cognizance of the chargesheet itself is vitiated, as the Court had no competence, and hence it should be presumed that no chargesheet has been filed as regards them. This was not accepted by the High Court on the basis of the principle that mere irregularity in taking cognizance will not vitiate the proceedings.

Full Judgement https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/sudha-bharadwaj-v-nia-405097.pdf 

Why Hindu nationalists hate the history of Bhima Koregaon battle? I HINDU NATIONALISTS I HINDI NEWS  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71egMIaCScM 
 Oct 2, 2021
Why Hindu nationalists hate the history of Bhima Koregaon battle? I HINDU NATIONALISTS I HINDI NEWS

भीमा कोरेगाँव की लड़ाई दलितों के लिए इतना महत्व क्यों रखती है? वे हर साल उसके स्मारक पर इकट्ठे क्यों होते हैं? हिंदुत्ववादी भीमा कोरेगाँव से क्यों डरते हैं और दलितों के आयोजन में उपद्रव क्यों रचते हैं? देखें सच का सामना। एक विशेष श्रंखला जिसमें वरिष्ठ पत्रकार मुकेश कुमार और प्रो. राम पुनियानी भारत के इतिहास से संबंधित गलत धारणाओं और तोड़े-मरोड़े गए तथ्यों पर से पर्दाफाश करेंगे

Why is the battle of Bhima Koregaon so important for Dalits? Why do they gather at his memorial every year? Why are Hindutvawadis afraid of Bhima Koregaon and create a nuisance in organizing Dalits? Watch Sach Ka Saamna. A special series in which senior journalist Mukesh Kumar and Prof. Ram Puniyani will expose the misconceptions and distorted facts related to the history of India

An open letter from Sahba Husain

Gautam Navlakha, nearly 70, is one of the oldest of the Bhima Koregaon arrestees, who was shifted to the “Anda Circle” (high security) from the barracks on October 12, 2021. Additionally, his telephone calls to me and his lawyers, his lifeline to the outside world, have been discontinued on the pretext that physical mulaquats have resumed in jail.

I, his partner, Sahba Husain, am over 70, and I live in Delhi. Travelling to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai frequently to meet him for the alloted ten minutes is difficult and Gautam’s only contact with me is through the two calls he was allowed every week to me that enabled me to send him articles of need, including medicines, books etc. With discontinuance of phone calls, all this will now depend on letters that take a minimum of two weeks to reach me.

Apart from the calls to me, regular access to lawyers through phone calls is an essential facility for undertrial prisoners. To deprive any undertrial prisoner of this effective and efficient mode of securing legal advice and help, or access to family, is the height of unfairness.

Gautam’s fragile health and well being will be further jeopardised by this withdrawal of the phone call facility to his family and lawyers. Already, in the Anda Circle, he is deprived of daily walks in the jail’s non-concreted greener areas and fresh air, and his health has deteriorated further, making specialised medical care an absolute necessity, if he is to live to fight this unjust and false case foisted on him. Without the weekly calls to me in Delhi, and to his lawyers, his life and his defence will be severely compromised.
Gautam writes, “confinement in Anda Circle means denial of fresh air/oxygen as there is not a single tree or plant in the open space of the Circle. And we are forbidden to step outside of the Anda Circle.... In other words, we spend 16 hours out of 24 cooped inside our cell and the 8 hours we are let out we are confined to a corridor 71/2’ x 72’ for our daily walk on cemented floor surrounded by high walls all around.”
Not long ago, Stan Swamy passed away in tragic circumstances. Stan, severely debilitated by Parkinson’s Disease, had to fight for such basic needs as a straw to drink, help to move to the toilet, and medical attention. His simple desire was that in his declining state of health he should be allowed to die at home in Ranchi. Even as his prayer before the court was pending, Stan Swamy passed away in a Mumbai hospital, indeed after once telling the court that he would rather be simply left to die in jail than be taken to the hospital.

These are prisoners of conscience, who have had to face indignities and humiliation for the smallest needs, and wage court battles for basic dignities in prison. In the past, when Navlakha’s original pair of spectacles went missing, it was difficult for the replacement spectacles to reach him in time.
It is not too much to ask for these simple facilities, phone access to his lawyers and family, and some fresh air to walk in once or twice a day.

Gautam has faced his unjustified incarceration with courage and spirit. How much longer is he going to be persecuted for his views, and to what extent will the authorities go to break his spirit?

Sahba Husain

Jyoti Punwani reports from tje Bhima Koregaon Judicial Commission hearings in Mumbai 

 

BK16 and the Incarceration of Justice, a documentary film by Karwan e Mohabbat, India http://emeets.lnwr.in/index.php/where-have-all-the-flowers-gone/1318-kamla-bhasin Directed by Anam Sheikh Commissioned for Requiem for Justice 

 

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