Surendra Gadling was targeted because he won too many acquittals, say his defenders. Nov 6th, 2018
New Delhi — Surendra Gadling was produced at 5 am in the morning in a district courtroom in Pune last week; his family was unaware of his whereabouts. His court-appointed lawyer was shaken out of bed at 4:30 am and appeared before the court with no prior information on the case.
Gadling’s own legal representatives were denied access to him by the court, as their names were not on the vakalat-nama, and soon he was remanded to 8 days of police custody.
“Advocate Gadling was not given an opportunity to present a proper defence,” said Sidhartha Patil, who is part of Gadling’s legal team. “There was no reason to grant police custody as the search and seizure of his house is complete.” Police custody — unlike judicial custody — Patil noted, meant Gadling could not apply for bail.
The arrest and subsequent treatment of well-known human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling has shaken human rights defenders, members of the legal fraternity, and political activists who see a conspiracy to silence a lawyer with a history of fighting politically-charged cases. Gadling’s arrest, they say, is the latest front in the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party’s attempts to quell all political dissent. Read more…