At least 26 citizens and members of the Aravalli Bachao group were picked up by police in Gurgaon and detained for over three hours when they staged a silent peaceful protest against a waste burning plant that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was slated to inaugurate, despite […]
By Geeta Seshu The Bengaluru police action that resulted in the cancellation of comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show in the city is shameful. More than just a caving in to right-wing pressure, it is a clear abrogation of the duty of the police to uphold law and order. On […]
“By considering the legitimate freedom of speech and expression in both its off line and on line avatars as unlawful activity, the Tripura police are overstepping the bounds of their legal authority and without any legitimate cause violating constitutionally protected rights. By asking that Mukesh and Indori remove […]
More than 100 women activists and womens’ rights organisations have expressed grave misgivings of a Bombay High Court order that effectively results in a gag of court proceedings of sexual harassment cases. Read the detailed statement submitted to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and Justice […]
The Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee launched a campaign for the release of the jailed journalist, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, when he was on his way to Hathras village to cover the gang-rape and fatal assault on […]
The Siddique Kappan Solidarity Committee held a press conference in Calicut, Kerala, on Oct 1, 2021, to recognise that the jailed journalist is a Prisoner of Conscience and given legal support by the Kerala Government and to demand his release. Kappan was arrested, along with three others, on […]
In a surprising development, Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court has come out with a set of guidelines to deal with ‘protecting’ the identity of all parties in sexual harassment cases and also regulating the manner in which proceedings in such cases are reported. This amounts […]
The case against Andamans journalist Zubair Ahmad was quashed by Justice Shivakant Prasad of Calcutta High Court’s Circuit Bench in Port Blair , providing some sense and justice for the most absurd of the spate of cases lodged against journalists reporting on the pandemic! On April 27, 2020, […]
The Pegasus revelations have struck a body blow to privacy rights of citizens. In India, the government continues to be in denial over the purchase of spyware. The Supreme Court of India is hearings petitions filed by individuals who were targeted by surveillance and by organisations working on […]
“Democracy upholds the fundamental right to life and liberty alongside the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association and movement in our country. The Supreme Court of India deemed the right to privacy as integral to the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed in Article […]
Journalists, politicians and human rights activists across the world had been spied upon by their governments using a spyware tool, ‘Pegasus’, struck at the very heart of the trust imposed by citizens on the State, especially in democracies, to safeguard their personal data and privacy.
Shyam Meera Singh said that ‘there is the freedom to murder and lynch but there is no freedom to criticise Modi or the current government; if there was freedom, why would he face termination? (Republished with permission from GauriLankeshNews). In an autocratic move, Aaj Tak, a Hindi-language news […]
The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill 2021, by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, slated to be introduced in the upcoming session of the Parliament, is fraught with over-broad definitions, a draconian investigation process and penal provisions that defeat the very […]
Courts have once again found no substance in flimsy accusations of sedition slapped by over-zealous police, reports Anjuman Ara Begum.
This provision will effectively give the Central Government supreme power over cinema exhibition in the country potentially endangering freedom of expression and democratic dissent.
Political cartoonists keep the system honest. They chip away at the hubris of those in power by laughing at them.
Aisha Sultana granted interim anticipatory bail by Kerala High Court
Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on Oct 5 by Uttar Pradesh police and charged under sedition and UAPA sections, found some relief when the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Maant, Ram Datt Ram, dropped charges of breach of peace against him and three others. The judge said that police had […]
Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police have lodged an FIR against social media network Twitter, news portal The Wire, journalists Rana Ayyub and Saba Naqvi, Congress politicians Shama Mohamed, Salman Nizami and Maskoor Usmani and Alt news co-founder Mohammed Zubair for tweeting a horrific video of the beard of an […]
Nine months on, the Hathras rape case is itself almost forgotten and even the UP government’s abject failure in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic has receded from national headlines. Will there be any justice for journalist Siddique Kappen, who awaits a plea for bail to come up before […]
MC Kode aka Aditya Tiwari, a New Delhi based rapper has been missing since June 2nd, 2021, after receiving death threats for an old battle rap clip that went viral. His Instagram post hinting at suicide was disturbing and alarming but right-wing trolls continued to bay for his […]
An Overview. Excerpted from the South Asia Press Freedom report – 2021 (Released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2021. Please click here to read the full report) As the second wave of the Covid pandemic surged across South Asia in early 2021, journalists […]
The year was marked by the heavy-handed use of laws of sedition, anti-terror or disaster management to quell criticism of the government whether at the Centre or in states, on journalists or civil society. This clampdown on journalists was marked during the ongoing peaceful farmers’ protest against three farms laws that has left the government more than rattled.
The tweets Twitter blocked. Inexplicable, since several images have been published in mainstream media, reproduced and shared across multiple platforms. Censorship by the government or by pliant social media platforms won’t make these images, or the reality they depict, go away. They’ve been compiled here and posted on […]
The Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR against journalist Prateek Goyal alleging trademark violation in an article filed in Newslaundry on the decision of the Sakal group in Pune to sack over fifty staffers of the Sakal Times. The court held that mere use of the registered […]
Predictably, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has closed the complaint on the arrest of journalist Siddique Kappan, jailed since October 5, 2020. Kappan, also the secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWF), was on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh (UP), to cover the […]
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, Executive Editor, Kashmir TImes, delivered the 40th J.P Memorial lecture on March 23, 2020. The prestigious memorial lecture marks the day Emergency was lifted in India. In her lecture, she gives a panoramic view of the events that have occurred since the Modi regime took […]
In a major development in an ongoing hearing on a complaint against an inflammatory report, the Press Council of India (PCI) issued a bailable warrant for the arrest of the editor of daily newspaper Vijay Karnataka for failing to respond to a summons. The hearing was held on […]
(republished with permission) By Pramod Ranjan (Note: The notification of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 have far-reaching implications for freedom of expression on the Internet and will, in the name of regulation by a three-tier mechanism overseen by government officials, […]
PUCL statement on case against environmental activists Stop the Witch Hunt! Drop all false & motivated Cases Respect the fundamental right of free speech, dissent, assembly and association!! The PUCL welcomes the order of the Delhi Sessions Court on 23.2.21, granting bail to Disha Ravi, a 21 year […]
Prominent citizens, including artists, environmental and social activists, parents, teachers, professionals, adivasis, dalits and farmers, today spoke out against the illegal and disproportionate response of the government in targeting young activists, including Disha Ravi, and the government’s intent to criminalise dissent. At a press conference organised by the […]
To imply that toolkits are some conspiracy gizmos used by foreign forces to destabilize India is as stupid as the ‘Cow was abducted by aliens’ rubbish that was aired by the same mainstream media channels that are now airing this nonsense. This controversy is baseless and has no merit.
Case against editors Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Rajdeep Sardesai and Caravan owners: Fresh attack on free speech
By Geeta Seshu The right to Freedom of Expression in India has been under attack from multiple directions, the latest being the sedition case cases filed by the police in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka against Congress-I MP, Shashi Tharoor, Caravan owner Paresh Nath and senior […]
Justice Rohit Arya of the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has rejected the bail plea of stand up comedian Munawar Faruqui and said that the ‘possibility of collection of more incriminating material andcomplacency of other persons cannot also be ruled out.’ Munawar Faruqui and five […]
By Geeta Seshu Journalist Neha Dixit was no stranger to online trolling but for the last five months, the harassment took an even more sinister turn, with callers stalking her, calling up on her phone from random numbers to issue rape and death threats and also attempt to […]
Twenty-five days after he was arrested on the charge that he could crack a joke that someone would find objectionable, comedian Munawar Faruqui and five of his friends and colleagues await a decision from the Madhya Pradesh High Court on a bail application. The entire case against the […]
The extensive use of criminal defamation to censor and silence journalists has become the norm and strikes a blow against freedom of expression. Despite several attempts, it continues to remain in the statute books, a handy tool to browbeat journalists.
In yet another example of the excessive and censorious use of sedition, Manipur police have arrested the executive editor of The Frontier Manipur (TFM) Paojel Chaoba for publishing an article that was actually critical of revolutionary movements in the state. Sedition, which comes under Sec 124 A of […]
Vague, arbitrary, unconstitutional, outdated: 9 reasons why journalists are challenging the Contempt of Courts Act
Republished from Indian Journalism Review, Jan 13, 2021. The constitutional validity of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, has been challenged in the Karnataka High Court by Krishna Prasad, former Editor-in-Chief of Outlook; N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and director of The Hindu Publishing Group; Arun […]
A sharp rise in criminal cases lodged against journalists in India for their work, with a majority of cases in BJP-ruled states, has contributed to the deterioration in the climate for free speech in India.
Dev Desai, well known social activist from Gujarat, was in for a shock this afternoon when WhatsApp sent him a message that he was blocked from using their service! Totally clueless as to why the popular messaging service took this extreme step, Desai took to Twitter to let […]
The statement by the Network of Women in Media India (NWMI) on the Kerala government’s ill-advised, and now withdrawn, ordinance to introduce a new and draconian section to the Kerala Police Act, makes a very important point: Such measures only encourage over-reach of law enforcement agencies, potentially curb […]
A statement of support by Atindriyo Chakraborty. Republished with permission from Countercurrents, Nov 15, 2020 Shilpa Singh is a 31-year-old professor of Political Sciences in VM Salgaocar College of Law, Goa (VMSCL). Since June 2019, she has been teaching this discipline to students of the BA-LLB Course that […]
The apology filed by journalist Dhaval Patel that resulted in an order from the Gujarat High Court to quash a sedition charge against him only underlines the need to repeal an unjust, unfair and redundant law. Patel, the Ahmedabad-based editor of a news web portal called ‘Face Of […]
by Geeta Seshu The chilling account in the Caravan on the beating up of journalist Ahan Penkar on Oct 16, by Ajay Kumar, the assistant commissioner of police of Model Town, inside the premises of the police station, has this paragraph: Other police officials participated in the assault […]
The rising incidence of gag orders by various powerful accused men in sexual assault and harassment cases has been of immense concern, especially because of the manner in which it shields them and further victimises the victims/complainants in these cases. A statement from the Network of Women in […]
Justice Madan Lokur: Gradual erosion of right to free speech leading to destruction of right to dissent
Justice Madan Lokur, former justice of the Supreme Court of India, delivered the Verghese Memorial Lecture 2020 on “Preserving and Protecting our Fundamental Rights – Freedom of Speech, Expression and the Right to Protest.” Justice Lokur said that one of the worst forms of curtailment of the freedom […]
More than 14 days since the attack on journalist Kamal Shukla and other journalists in Chhattisgarh, no action has been taken against the perpetrators. Kamal Shukla, who went on a hunger strike in Kanker to protest the attack and the lack of action, was forcibly admitted to hospital […]
Clear that the arrest and detention of Kanojia is politically motivated and driven by vendetta. It fits a larger pattern of Uttar Pradesh administration attempting to silence dissenting voices.
These cases affect the daily lives of very large sections of the populace, in addition to being issues of
national importance. Early disposal of these Constitution cases will restore the faith that we as citizens
repose in the judiciary and the Supreme Court.