In a Bad Week for Civil Liberties, the Courts Haven’t Stepped Up

  • Three Sikh men were convicted by a trial court for “waging war against India,” on the sole basis that they had some pro-Khalistani books and pamphlets in their possession, and had shared some pro-Khalistani content on Facebook (see details here by The Times of India).
  • The Supreme Court allowed Maharashtra authorities to get away with keeping activists arrested on dubious Naxalism charges in jail, despite having played fast and loose with the rules.
  • The police in Aligarh immediately agreed to register a case of sedition against students at Aligarh Muslim University at the behest of a BJP youth leader.
  • In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, several news channels and thousands upon thousands of regular citizens on social media, have used the incident to go after “seculars” and “apologists” – basically anyone who has ever questioned the way the armed forces operate in Kashmir, or suggested violence isn’t the solution. Action is being urged against them and Kashmiris, whether in terms of violence, or stripping them of rights and 

Is it any wonder that the courts are not performing adequate scrutiny of civil liberties cases when there is so much vitriol against anyone suspected of anti-national behaviour? Read more…

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