Cordially invite you to a People’s Audit of Police Atrocities

 

 

PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 

 
                                 And

CATHOLIC SABHA MANGALORE PRADESH 

 
               Cordially invite you to a

 

PEOPLE’S AUDIT OF POLICE ATROCITIES 
                    in Coastal Karnataka

          at Milagres College Auditorium

              Hampankatta, Mangalore-1

               Inauguration at 3:00 P.M

                  Saturday 11-12-2010

 To,

 Contact: “PAULINE”, Muller Road, Valencia, Mangalore-2

Tel:0824-4252170

Email: pucl_sk@yahoo.com

Websites: www.pucl.org, www.puclkarntaka.org

                   www.puclmangalore.wordpress.com

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) is a  national organization  wedded to protection of human rights and its founders were such illustrious men in  our country’s recent history, like the late Jayaprakash Narain, Acharya Kripalani, Krishna Kant and V M Tarkunde who joined hands to set up this body in the aftermath of draconian emergency from 1975 to 77 when the civil rights of the people like even to live, let alone express dissent were taken away by the establishment.  

            Ever since, the PUCL has been expanding its network and now we have its units practically in every state. The Karnataka State unit of  the PUCL, with a new set of office bearers  took office recently with Mangalorean Mr.P.B.D’Sa as its Chief. We have the privilege of two of the four Vice-Presidents and a Secretary also hailing from Mangalore. 

            India is a witness to a very sad situation where criminals , communalists and anti-social elements have infiltrated into politics, bureaucracy and police dept. As a result, custodial deaths, police torture, extortion and encounters by the Police have grown phenomenally. Govt Doctors and Judiciary have shamelessly joined hands with the Police.  Honest citizens are exploited and tortured. There is injustice everywhere. 

        To show the power of people and the importance of  public opinion in democracy, we have arranged for a People`s  Audit on Police Torture in the Karavali belt on 11/12/10 and 12/12/10.

 

 

 PROGRAMME

3.00pm  : Mr. Victor   D’Silva,  Chairman 

                  Organizing Committee will welcome

 

3.10pm   : Mr. S. Balamurugan  Secretary,  PUCL          

                 Tamilnadu will deliver inaugural address

 

3.30pm   : Mr.  Jakeer  Hussain  Ullal

                   (victim  of  police  atrocities )

                   President  Minorities Cooperation                                   Centre will narrate his experiences

 

3.45pm    : Mr. Purushottam  Poojari,  Senior 

                    Advocate will release the fact finding

                   reports prepared by PUCL- DK

 

4.00pm    : Mr. S.P.Chengappa,  Advocate 

                   President Bar Association Mangalore

                   delivers presidential address

 

4.15pm    : Refreshments

 PUBLIC -HEARING

11-12-2010  – 4.30pm to 7.00pm

 

Jury :    Justice  M.F. Saldanha,  former  Judge   of               Bombay  and  Karnataka  High  Courts

               Mr. Purushottam  Poojari,                                        Senior  Advocate,  Mangalore

            Prof. Nagari Babaiah (PDF), Senior Human Rights activist

            Dr. Rita Noronha , Professor School of Social           Work , Mangalore , Human Rights Activist 

            Mrs. Merlyn Martis, Advocate & Director  Development Education Service (DEEDS )

            Mr. Philip Mathew, Director South India Cell          for Human Rights Education and Monitoring

Hearing by the jury – Sunday 12-12-2010

9.00am to 1.00pm – Hearing

1.00pm to 2.00pm – Lunch break

2.00pm to 5.00pm- Hearing

5.00pm to 6.00pm – Refreshments

6.00pm to 7.00pm – Valedictory and release of 

 Interim Report

NB Complaints should reach PUCL Office on or before 30-11-2010

 

 

5.00pm to 6.00pm – Refreshments

6.00pm to 7.00pm – Valedictory and release of

The National Human Rights Commission’s Perspective

 

Prison  Reform:

The  National  Human  Rights  Commission’s  Perspective

Dr.L.D.Mishra

Special  Rapporteur,  National  Human  Rights  Commission

            Speaking  on  human  rights  and  custodial  justice,  Dr.L.D.Mishra,  Special  Rapporteur,  National  Human  Rights  Commission,  observed  that  the  twentieth  century  has  been  the  bloodiest  century  in  the  history  of  the  world.  The  idea  that  human  life  is sacrosanct is essential in India   and  dates  back  to  the  Mahabharata  and  Ramayana.  The  lofty  concept – ‘to  treat  all  human  beings  with  empathy,  sensitivity,  compassion’ – has  obviously  not  been  followed.

            Dr.Mishra  was  of  the  view  that  the  Prisons  Act  of  1894  is useless  and  needs  to  be  thrown  out.  So  many  of  its  practices  have  been  clearly  forbidden  by  the  Supreme  Court  and  yet  they  still  happen.

            Most  of  the  prisoners  are  not  aware  of  their  rights  either.

            The  Model  Prison  Manual  has  17  important  guarantees  that  are  essential  for  safeguarding  the  rights  of  the  prisoners.  These  guarantees  include:

Right  to  a  Speedy  Trial

Right  to  Bail

Right  to  Convict  to  Appeal

Right  to  Contact  with  Outside  World

Institutionalized  Mechanism  to  address  Grievances

Right  to  Medical  Examination

Right  to  Living  Accommodation

Right  to  Food/Nutrition

Right  to  Clean  Drinking  Water

Right  to  Environmental  Sanitation

Right  to  Personal  Hygiene

Right  to  Clothing

            According  to  Dr.Mishra,  these   guarantees  are  not  being  provided  to  prisoners.  A  major  area  of  concern  is  that  trials  do  not  take  place  on  time.  We  have  a  situation  of  non-attendance  of  investigating   officers  and  prosecution  witness,  magistrates  on  leave,  lawyers  on  strike  and  excessive  case  adjournments.  He  says,  one  solution  is  to   have  judges  and  ministers  meet  inside  the  jail.  They  can  handle  the  entire  process  in  a  matter  of  hours  instead  of  months.  But  judges  are  reluctant  to  do  so.  Doing  this  on  a  regular  basis  could  drastically  decrease  the  number  of   under-trials  in  jail  and  speed  up  the   rate  at  which  cases  are  dealt  with.

            There  should  be  a  complaint  box  for   addressing  prisoner  grievances.

            He  said  the  basic  rights  of  prisoners-like  getting  a  medical  examination, right  to  food  and  personal  hygiene-are  being  violated.  Most  medical  officers  are  unaware  of  the  fact  that  a  basic  physical  examination,  of  someone  admitted  to  a  prison,  should  take  place.  Food  must  be  comprised  of  carbohydrates,  protein,  minerals  and  fat.  Basic  nutrition  is  even  more  important  for  children.  We  need  one  kitchen  for  evry  250  people.  The  prisons  are  smoky.  There  are  no  chimneys,  exhaust  fans,  or  fireproofing.

            Mosquitoes  are  rampant.  There  is  no  platform  for  washing  or  cutting  vegetables  and  no  chapatti-making  machines.  Chapattis  are  made  on  the  floor.  Prisons  need  to  pay  more  attention  to  personal  hygiene.  They  need  to  have  appropriate  toilet  facilities.

            Dr. Mishra  concluded  by  saying  that  to  make  these  changes,  political  will  is essential  and  it  seems  that,  in  India,  there  is  little  political  will  for  prison  reforms!

Prison  Voice: November  2010

The Human Rights Organizations’ Perspective

 

Prison  Reform:

The  Human  Rights  Organizations’  Perspective

Dr.Maja  Daruwala

Founder,  Common  wealth  Human  Rights  Initiative (CHRI )

 

Dr.Maja  Daruwala,  Founder,  Commonwealth  Human  Rights  Initiative (CHRI ),  began  with  speaking  about  prison  reform  efforts  in  India.  Every  institution  wants  to  work  together,  she  said,  but  the  difference  in  size,  pace,  relevant  government  institutions,  unevenness  in  finances,  differences  in  personal  and  technical  capacities  can  make  long – term  work  harder,  but  coordination  is  still  necessary.

Dr.Daruwala  spoke  of  introducing  new  trends  for  improving  the  conditions  of  prisons  and  prisoners  in  India:

1.Changing  Philosophy: The  philosophy  of  prisons  should  be  to  reform  and  rehabilitate.  Unfortunately,  this  has  not  really  been  the  case.  In  India,  this  Gandhian  philosophy  does,  perhaps,  exist  in  BPRD,  NHRC  and  some  NGOs,  but  does  not  apply  to  most  of  the  institutions.   It  does  not  exist  even  in  the  State  Human  Rights  Commissions,  legal  aid  institutions,  judges,  social  workers,  or  anyone  else  working  in the  system.  The  quality  of  these  services,  as  elaborated  by  Dr.Trivedi,  is  very  nascent  in  our  country.

2. Alternatives  to  Imprisonment : One  option  is  to  work  on  alternatives  to  prisons.

Courts  will  sometimes  bring  in  compulsory  anger-management  and  counseling  strategies.  These  alternatives  are  becoming  more  prevalent  because  of  both  the  philosophy  and  the  economics  of  prisons.  We  need  to  find   more  alternatives  and  disseminate   them  throughout  India.

3. Accessing  Different  Levels  of  Services : Levels  of  services  across  the  country are  still  uneven.  Community  services  from  RWA,  Public  Works  Department (PWD ),  road  sweeping  etc.,  are  not  the  same  across  the  country  and  many can  offer  resources  that  others  cannot.

4. Use  of  Technology : For  people  on  parole  and  for  first-time  offenders,  it  would  be  better  if,  instead  of  imprisoning  them,  the  State  could  simply  put  an  ankle  tracker   on  them  and  provide  them  with  a  relative  degree  of   freedom.  This  would  also  cost  the  State  far  less  money  to  house,  feed  and  care   for  them.  While  the  state  has  the  technical  capability  to  do  this,  it  does  not  yet  have  the  system  to  monitor  and  ensure  that  people  on  GPS    software  are  doing  what  they  are  supposed  to  do.

            Dr.Daruwala  strongly  criticized  the  system  of  video  conferencing  and  said  that,  though  it  has  been  introduced  for  good  economic  reasons,  the  State  was  wedded  only  to  the  statistics  and  not  to  the  conception  of  civil  liberties  and  judicial  fair  process.  She  said  that  video  conferencing  is  a  “second  rate  justice  for  second  rate  people  in  a  third  rate  system”.  Also,  it  had  not  been  subjected  to  much  critical  scrutiny.  Raising  some  pertinent  questions,  she  asked,  “Why  were  there  not  enough  escorts  to  take  people  to  court?  Why  did  no  one  say  that  one  minute  before  a  judge  was  not  enough?  Where  is  the  defense  lawyer?  Has  he  done  his  job?  Has  the  public  prosecutor  done  a  thorough  job?  Has  the  judge  been  satisfied  by  the  effectiveness  of  the  hearing  that  the  prisoner’s  rights  are  guaranteed?”

            She  went  on  to  say  that  the  legal  aid  committee  has  to  ensure  that  the  system  works  well  and  that  due  process  is  being  followed.  This  cannot  be  allowed  to  become  a  trend;  it is just a matter of convenience for the bureaucracy.  Today it is the petty offender and soon it will be for white collar or technical crimes and so on and so forth. Soon the cry will be for equal justice.

            What needs to be reformed?

Dr. Daruwala listed out some of the issues where reform is needed: overcrowding: Dr. Daruwala says that statistics only tell half the story. The specific cases are far greater in number. They do not tell the story of the man whose letters of applications are sent from department to department and court to court. We need to do a thorough review and hold everyone in the system accountable.

Accountability: Dr. Daruwala went on to say that enquiry should be held in the matter of custodial deaths. This puts a check on prison officials. The Government admits that 60% of arrest are unnecessary. In spite of this, corruption and dishonesty are rampant in Indian prisons.

            Legal Rights of Prisoners : Dr. Daruwala was of the view that NGOs can playa pivotal role in safeguarding the leagal rights of prisoners. She said that Justice was needed for the betterment of society. NGOs can demand accountability because we have a rights- based approach to justice in this country. Why is it that a judge automatically remands a defendant for 14 days? And then does it again and again and again ?

The judge needs to do something when he knows that the system is flawed, that the prosecutor hasn’t read the case, or the police have trumped up the charge.

Prison Administration System: The functioning of the prison administration system still remains a problem. Various committees and panels have been formed, but the problem still persists. The problem is intrinsic to the prison administration system. The Government needs to examine the people who administer prisons. To take an example, no one wants to be the jail Minister unless they have a vested reason in being so and everybody knows what those reasons in being so and everybody knows what those reasons are. There is whole prison visiting system laid down in the law to create a Board which is required to meet a certain number of times a year, inspect a certain number of cases and submit a report to the IG, to the Minister and to the Parliament,. But in effect, none of it happens.

Non – implementation  of  Laws : Expressing  her  anguish  with  regard  to  the  non – implementation  of  laws,  Dr.Daruwala  said  that  asking  for  a  new  law  for  Police  or  Prisons  had  been  a  big  mistake.  Even  the  Prisons  Act  of  1894  had  a  scheme  and  logic  to  it.  Today  these  are  just  piecemeal  regulations  by  the  public  and  the  parliament.  The  situation  would  improve  dramatically  if  already-existent  current  rules  and  regulations  are  carefully  read  and  followed  and  if  NGO’s  work  collaboratively  in  this  joint  venture.  The  current  impression  is  that  if  archaic  provisions  are  upgraded,  things  will  improve.  This  is  not  true.  The  officials  don’t  even  follow  the  archaic  provisions,  changing  them  will  do  nothing!

Prison  Voice : November – 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

……………………………….

‘PRESS RELEASE’

 

People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka

Father Muller Road, Valencia, Mangalore – 575 002, Tel: 4252170, http://www.puclkarnata.org

Email: puclk101010@gmail.com

 

 

                                                                                                                                    22-11-10

‘PRESS RELEASE’

The greatest disaster that has hit Dakshina Kannada District in the last century is the setting up of the Mangalore SEZ. The corruption and the fraud involved in the entire project that is supposed to bring employment and prosperity to the region which is the        greatest FRAUD and LIE has only spelt death, destruction, havoc and misery. To describe it as a rape of the earth is an understatement, to define it as genocide of the weak, the under-privileged, the tribals and the poorest of the poor is a harsh statement of fact.             The project is the greatest illegality that the area has ever seen. Whereas the Government of India has mandated that no green area or forest or farm land can be acquired for industrial purposes, in this case, there has been a 100% breach and the cover-ups have been so shameful that for the first time in this country, the local mafia was used to bury standing crops and vegetable gardens under huge mountains of debris and to fill-up the wells and tanks with stones and soil and then to photograph it and contend that the area was barren. The compensations have been misappropriated and               even the Upa Lokayukta passed severe strictures and has recorded findings against the officials who are involved in these massive frauds, and the State Human Rights Commission has passed over a dozen very strongly-worded Orders against the SEZ and its brazen bosses.

 

The human rights violations have been so serious that the International Human Rights   Organisations, after hearing Justice Saldanha’s lectures and reading this booklet have            written to the Government of India, asking it to explain as to how in a civilized country and a democratic set-up, there can be such a total absence of the Rule of Law. The issue was also highlighted in Justice Saldanha’s lectures at the London School of Economics, after which, the Internationally reputed Barones Cox raised the issue in the House of Lords and the British Government has officially expressed deep concern over what is going on in this part of the country and taken up the issue with the Govt. of India. In       September2010, Justice Saldanha raised this issue at the International Environmental Conference at Washington D.C., the U.S. Government through a letter signed by no less             an authority than President Obama has requested the Prime Minister of India, to ensure that atrocities of this type are not repeated and that justice be done to all the victims of the Mangalore SEZ.

 

What has been the role of the Courts while all these atrocities were being committed ? Not a single relief has been granted by any Court, more so, the High Court which has systematically dismissed or

 

 

delayed every single plea. All those who have tried to fight for the victims or to prevent the destruction have been intimidated and threatened. The protestors have been at the receiving end with the corrupt authorities getting richer on the loot. The intimidatory tactics directed against persons of the eminence of Swami Agnivesh were so ruthless that the Police and the mafia even threatened to bury them under the bulldozers. When Justice Saldanha and the media persons visited the place, two criminal cases were officially registered against them on such impressive charges as rioting, intimidating public servants and attempt to murder. The sad part of the story is that the rich and the famous in the District have all supported the project which aims at converting the area into another BHOPAL. Dakshina Kannada District which produced the finest of grain, vegetable, fruit, dairy product, meat and fresh for centuries has been required to IMPORT all these products from outside because the fields, the farms and the livestock not to mention the trees, the forests and the water bodies, have all been destroyed to make way for ugly chemical complexes.

 

After the release of the booklet – “Horrifying Human Tragedy called Mangalore SEZ” by Justice Saldanha, three months back, there have been requests from all over the State that it be reprinted in Kannada, which has been done and the booklet is being released today. The media which has always championed the right causes is requested to prominently highlight the issues that are involved. IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH AND A QUESTION OF SAVING WHATEVER IS LEFT OF THE DISTRICT AND ITS PEOPLE.

 

 

                                                                                                                                For  Peoples  Union  For  Civil  Liberties

 

                                                                                                                                                                President

 

People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka

Father Muller Road, Valencia, Mangalore – 575 002, Tel: 4252170, http://www.puclkarnata.org

Email: puclk101010@gmail.com

 

Date: 17-11-2010

Chief Minister of Karnataka

Home Minister of Karnataka

D.G. and I.G.P. of Karnataka

Sub: Communal Violence in Bangalore by members of Jaya

Karnataka aided and abetted by the Karnataka Police

It is sad and regrettable to note that communal attacks against minorities have not stopped inspite of repeated promises and assurances given by all three of you.

Attached statement prepared by PUCL-Bangalore is for your perusal and necessary action. All those who are directly involved in the incident should be arrested along with the conspirators who are controlling the organization remotely.

In all the communal attacks since two years, those who have conspired and planned the attacks remotely have not been touched by the government, just because they belong to the ruling party. This will not be tolerated by the citizens in a secular country like India.

In your own interest therefore we appeal to you to take legal steps against all concerned and involved in the dastardly attack.

Yours faithfully,

for People’s Union for Civil Liberties[K]

[President]