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PUCL Seminar: Attack by the State on Life and Personal liberty of its people, May 7-8

SEMINAR On
Attack by the State on Life and Personal liberty of its people in Democratic
India: Examining the Law on Sedition, other Draconian Laws and Human Rights Violations of Citizens under Ordinary Laws

7th -8th May, 2011 (Saturday and Sunday) From 10.30 am onwards
Gandhi Peace Foundation, 223 Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, Delhi

PRESS INVITE AND NOTE

SPEAKERS (see detailed programme)

Justice AB Shah, Ex Chief Justice Delhi High Court
Justice Rajinder Sachar, Ex-Chief Justice Delhi High Court
Shri Anhdhyarjuna, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Dr. Prabhakar Sinha, President PUCL
Dr Binayak Sen, VP PUCL.
Pushkar Raj, Gen Sec PUCL
Ravi Kiran Jain, VP PUCL.
V. Suresh, PUCL, Tamil Nadu
Paramjeet, PUDR
Kavita Srivastava, PUCL
Prof Ujjwal Singh, Delhi University
Siddhartha Narrain, ALF, Bangalore
Sudha Bharadwaj and Himanshu Kumar, PUCL, Chhattisgarh
Babloo, Manipur
Sujato Bhadro, APDR, W. Bengal
and many others.

6. 30 pm cultural expressions
Dastaane Sedition Banaam Hakim Sen- Mehmoud Farroqui and Danish Hussein
Le’ Mashale’ A Soliloquy On the Life of Irom Sharmila ten year fast.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties is organising an all India seminar on the
7th and 8th of May, 2011 in Delhi on the “Attack by the State on the Life and
Personal liberty of its people in Democratic India: Examining the Law on
Sedition, other Draconian Laws and Human Rights Violations of Citizens under
Ordinary Laws.” The objective of the Consultation is to
· Discuss the alarming proportions of suppression of the people’s
freedom of speech and expression and frequent attacks on the dignity of common citizens
· Understand the historical basis of the sedition law and other draconian
laws within the framework of the Indian Constitution and International law and
share experiences of the victims of these laws
· Outlining a charter of citizens’ demands from the government against
deteriorating situation of rights and liberties of individual

People’s Union for Civil Liberties along with several democratic and human
rights organisations is alarmed at the increasing assault by the State on the
freedom of speech and expression of the people and the frequent attacks on the dignity of ordinary citizens. Every day democratic dissent, the right to
protest, stage rallies and dharnas, is under threat. Assertion of ones rights
which is central to democracy is criminalised through a number of ordinary laws.
Government’s are increasingly becoming so intolerant that there is an arbitrary
use of sections called offences against the Indian State. As is well known, the
law on sedition, Sec 124 (A) of the IPC, is one of the most vaguely defined and
abused draconian sections of the Indian Penal Code. The manner in which it is
being applied presently by the police in various states of the country clearly
shows that it has become the latest tool to silence dissent and any
interrogation of the government’s policies and actions. The victims are a wide
ranging lot. They include those who speak up against repression in Kashmir and
states of the North East or those who speak up and counsel the government for
restraint in dealing with the militant Maoist movement or even some non violent
social movements.

Fellow Human Rights workers, members of Democratic and Civil Liberties
organizations, legal experts will be participating in this two day meeting.

We would like you to send a reporter and cameraman/ photographer for the
meeting.

Prabhakar Sinha (President); Pushkar Raj(General Secretary)
Phone: Pushkar Raj: 9810656100, Kavita Srivastava: 9351562965, puclnat@gmail.com

Tentative Schedule

7th May (Saturday) Day I

9.30 a.m.onwards – Registration and Tea

10.00 – 11.30 a.m.: Inaugural Session

· Welcome Pushkar Raj, General Secretary, PUCL
· Introducing the subject: Prabhakar Sinha, President , PUCL
· Inaugural Address: Justice AB Shah, Ex-Chief Justice Delhi High Court.
· Special Address Dr. Binayak Sen, Vice President PUCL
· Guest Speaker: Shri Anhdhyarjuna, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of
India

· Concluding observations: Pushkar Raj, General Secretary, PUCL

11.30 a.m. to 11.45 a.m.: Tea

11.45 am to 1.10p.m.: Examining Sedition and Allied Offences against the State
Chairperson: Justice Rajindar Sachar, former PUCL President

Speakers:

· “Disaaffection and the law” the chilling effect of Sedition Laws in
India- Siddhartha Narrain, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore.
· Sedition Law: Tailor Made for abuse: Politics and Practice of the Anti
Sedition Laws in India. V. Suresh, National Secretary and President Tamil Nadu
PUCL.

· Paramjeet PUDR Representative.

· Open Discussion.

· Remarks by the Chair

1.00 p.m. to 2: 00 p.m.: Lunch

2.10 p.m. onwards:

Draconian laws and their application in the country, Sharing
Experiences from the States

Chairperson: Ravi Kiran Jain 2.10 pm to 3.45 pm

Tea 3.45 pm

Chairperson: Sanjay Parikh, 4.00 to 5.45 pm

Speakers:
Prof Ujjwal Singh, Delhi University (15 mins)
Sudha Bharadwaj, PUCL, Chhattisgarh (15 mins)
Vrinda Grover, Kashmir (15 mins)
Sujato Bhadro, APDR, W. Bengal (15 mins)
Nishant Akhilesh, Shashi Bhushan Pathak, Jharkhand, PUCL ( 15 mins)
Babloo, Manipur (15 mins)
and others

Open Discussion

Abdul Shakeel, Delhi- Gujarat
Kranthi from APCLC
Jaya Vindhyala, PUCL, AP
Shahnawaz and Rajeev, UP,
Mahtab APCR,
Manisha, Jamia Teachers Solidarity group
Sh. Pancholi/Jagpal Nehra / Shivkant, Delhi PUCL
Farooq Paker APCR/Kavita Srivastava, PUCL
and others

Open Discussion

Remarks by the Chair Sh. Sanjay Parikh,
6pm : Tea

6. 30 pm onwards CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS
Dastaan- e-Sedition Banaam Hakim Sen
By Mahmood Farroqui and Danish Hussein

Le Mashale: A Soliloquy on the life of Irom Sharmila
By Ojas

8th May (Sunday) Day II

9. 30 a.m. Onwards

State of life, personal liberty and dignity of the common man under the Ordinary law of the country

Chairperson: Dr. Binayak Sen, Vice President PUCL

Speakers:

· Ravi Kiran Jain
· Usha Ramanthan

Responses from participants 5 to 7 minutes each

11.00 a.m : Tea

11:20 – 2. 00 p.m. The Way forward: suggestions for preparing a charter of
demands

LUNCH