Prominent former judges and high-ranking lawyers appeal to Supreme Court to end demolitions and unlawful arrests in Uttar Pradesh – The Leaflet

The courage of the judiciary is being tested in these critical times, they said in their letter to India’s Chief Justice NVRamana


WHILE SEARCHINGsuo motu’ action against bulldozing tactics and indiscriminate arrests of protesters in Uttar Pradesh, several former Supreme and High Court Justices and senior lawyers have written to India’s Chief Justice NVRamana to intervene following incidents of violence and repression exercised by state authorities on citizens.

The letter, signed by 12 senior former judges and lawyers, urged the court to put an end to the “deteriorating law and order situation” in Uttar Pradesh.

The signatories of the letter are:

  1. Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy (former Justice of the Supreme Court of India);
  2. Justice V. Gopala Gowda (former Justice of the Supreme Court of India);
  3. Justice AK Ganguly, (former Justice of the Supreme Court of India);
  4. Justice AP Shah (former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and former Chairman of the Law Commission of India);
  5. Justice K Chandru (former Madras High Court Judge);
  6. Justice Mohammed Anwar (former Justice of the High Court of Karnataka);
  7. Shanti Bhushan (Senior Counsel, Supreme Court);
  8. Indira Jaising (Senior Counsel, Supreme Court);
  9. Chander Uday Singh (Senior Counsel, Supreme Court);
  10. Sriram Panchu (Senior Advocate, Madras High Court);
  11. Prashant Bhushan (Lawyer, Supreme Court);
  12. Anand Grover (Senior Counsel, Supreme Court).

In their letters, the signatories said that instead of giving protesters the opportunity to be heard and engage in peaceful protests, the administration of the state of Uttar Pradesh appears to have authorized violent actions. against these people.

“The Chief Minister is said to have formally urged those responsible ‘to take action against the culprits in a way that sets an example so that no one commits a crime or gets justice in the future. He further ordered that the National Security Act 1980 and the Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities of Uttar Pradesh (Prevention) Act 1986 be invoked against those convicted of unlawful protests. It was these remarks that encouraged the police to brutally and unlawfully torture protesters,” reads the letter.

The letter states that, in line with the Chief Minister’s statement, more than 300 people have been arrested and FIRs registered against protesting citizens.

Videos of young men in police custody being beaten with lathis, of protesters’ homes being demolished without notice or cause for action, and of protesters from the minority Muslim community being chased and beaten by police, are circulating on social media, shaking the conscience of the nation, Such a brutal repression by an administration in power is an unacceptable subversion of the rule of law and a violation of the rights of citizens, and flouts the Constitution and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the State”, said the former judges and senior counsel.

The coordinated manner, the letter reads, in which the police and development authorities have acted has led to the clear conclusion that the demolitions are a form of collective extrajudicial punishment, attributable to a slate policy which is unlawful.

The letter reminds the CJI that on many occasions, including in the recent past, the judiciary has faced such challenges and established itself with distinction as the guardian of the rights of the people. He cited the example of suo motu knowledge of the migrant crisis.

Some recent examples are the suo motu actions taken by the Supreme Court in the migrant workers case and in the Pegasus case. In the same spirit, and in its role as guardian of the Constitution, we therefore urge the Supreme Court to be ready to take immediate suo motu action to arrest the deterioration of the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, specifically involving the authoritarianism of police and state authorities, and the brutal repression of the basic rights of citizens. We hope and trust that the Supreme Court will rise to the occasion and not let the citizens and the Constitution down at this critical juncture,” the letter urges.

Comments are closed.