Human Rights Law Network


PILs & Cases

Missing Najeeb: Supreme Courts’ intervention into the probe of missing JNU student

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The Supreme Court issued the order directing the Delhi government and Delhi police as well JNU authorities to be even rigorous in the probe for finding the missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student, Najeeb Ahmad. The court questioned the status report submitted by the state which did not mention the reasons behind Najeeb being taken to the hospital.

The order also requested the JNU authorities to reconsider Najeeb’s expulsion from the hostel be reconsidered. The current petition is a habeas corpus filed by Human Rights Law Network on behalf of Fatima Nafees,  Najeeb’s mother.

Najeeb Ahmad, pursuing his masters in Bio-technology at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been missing since 15th of Cotober, 2016. Before his disappearance he was brutally beaten up by a few identified students of the university in presence of the hostel warden and security guards. He was also given loud and open threats by the same students who are affiliated to Akhil Bharyiya Vidyarthi Parishad, student wing of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party. An FIR was subsequently filed by Najeeb’s mother and JNUSU president naming the persons who brutally assaulted and threatened Najeeb.

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Kashmir Violence documentary: High Court of Delhi clears release of Butalia’s film without any cut or disclaimer

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The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed the release of a documentary by filmmaker Pankaj Butalia on Kashmir violence, noting that the “right to censor films, shown in whatever form, constitutes a prior restraint,” and should “necessarily be reasonable”.

Butalia’s work focuses on the spate of violence in Kashmir between 2005 and 2013 and contains interviews of people affected by it. The filmmaker had approached the HC after the Central Board of Film Certification and Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal suggested some major cuts in the 61-minute documentary.

The CBFC and the FCAT had suggested that some angry remarks made by parents of children killed during the 2010 stone-pelting clashes in Srinagar should be censored. They had also directed Butalia to include a disclaimer stating “all views in the film are personal”, before the beginning of the documentary.The filmmaker was also asked by the CBFC to delete the words “disproportionate violence” from a description of the clashes. But the HC today gave a go-ahead to the filmmaker to screen the documentary ‘The Textures of Loss’ with a ‘U’ certificate, and without any disclaimers. “Unanimity of thought and views is not the test to be employed by censuring authorities in such situations…The response cannot be to ban, mutilate or destroy the work of another, with whom one stridently disagrees,” noted the court of Justice Rajiv Shakdher.

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SC ordered trial court to deliver verdict in Kandhamal nun rape case

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SLP (CRL.) No.1103 of 2012)

Sister Mina Lalita Baruwa V/s S State of Orissa and others.

HRLN has filed a Special Leave Petition which challenged the final order judgment of the Orissa High Court dated 5.1.12 in CRL.M.C No. 1746 of 2011 wherein the Hon'rble High Court dismissed the Petition filed by the Petitioner.

On 25.8.08 at the height of the communal riots in Kandhamaal Orissathat had occurred in the tribal-dominated district in the aftermath of the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati at the Jalespata Ashram on 23.8.08., the Petitoner and others were attacked by a mob that molested the petitioner, assaulted her & was gang raped and paraded semi-naked through the streets two days in Kandhamal. During that time she did not knew the names of her assailants or of the persons who raped her, but she was able to identify them.

The court had in February last year(2012) stayed the trial on a plea by the Petitioner, who challenged the prosecution's failure to cross-examine a judicial magistrate, failure of which she claimed helped the accused persons. As per the victim, the magistrate had withheld some of the accusatory statements she had made against one of the accused person when he took the witness box.

A bench led by Justice S S Nijjar allowed the nun's appeal, argued through senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, and set aside the orders passed by the trial court and the high court. The lower courts had held that she had no right to seek recalling a witness for cross-examination and that she must have faith in justice delivery system.

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SC allows conditional screening of 'Sadda Haq'

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Vital Media   V/S   State of Punjab and ORS.

W.P. (C) NO. 205 OF 2013

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Censor Board to consider whether the “U” certificate granted to Punjabi film “Sadda Haq” that allegedly glorifies extremism era can be changed to “A” following recommendation of a court appointed panel which did not favour suspending its screening.

After perusing the report of the four-member committee, which watched the movie on Friday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said the Central Board of Film Certification which is the statutory authority will re-consider its decision on Monday after which the film can be released across the country.

The order was passed on a plea challenging the ban on screening of the film in Delhi, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The report by the committee comprising senior advocates Fali Nariman, Rajiv Dhavan, Indira Jaising (Additional Solicitor General) and Rebecca John said the Board when it looks into the final version of the film, may “seriously re-consider whether the film present classification as ‘U’ (under section 5A of the Cinematograph Act, 1952) is at all appropriate or whether the film should be only certified as ‘A’ film”.

The committee dismissed the apprehension of governments of Delhi, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh that the screening of the film is likely to cause breach of law and order.

“We are of the considered view that suspending the screening of the film on the ground that it is likely to cause a breach of peace calling for pre-emptive action by state authorities is totally inappropriate since it is the duty of the state to maintain law and order and prevent any apprehended breach of peace.

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Supreme Court issued notices against the State of Maharashtra in a matter related to the Dhole Communal Violence

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In the matter of: Naseer G. Mohammad Vs  State of Maharastra.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court bench comprising Justice C.K. Prasad and Justice Khalifullah issued notices against the State of Maharashtra in a matter related to the Communal Violence which took place on 6th of January 2013, where 6 innocent youths were killed, 52 injured and 35 houses & shops were burned. Policemen were involved in the burning and looting of the Houses all belonging to Minority community. Supreme Court took strict note of the police action and asked for the state response in 4 weeks.

The writ petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by Petitioner no. 1 who is the father of the deceased Asim Ahmad aged 24 years, Petitioner no. 2 who is the elder brother of deceased Imran Ali aged 23 years and a relative of the deceased Saud Rais Patel aged 17 years, Petitioner No. 3 who is a reputed and registered Society working on issues relating to secularism and communal violence.

This petition is being filed in respect of the communal attack on Muslims at Dhule, Maharashtra on 6.1.13 in which the police themselves participated in smashing the vehicles of the Muslim community, in setting fire to their shops and houses and in firing in such a manner that 6 persons were killed and 52 injured, all from the Muslim community. 35 houses were burnt to the ground and many shops were also burnt. 

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HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.