Tag Archives: Maoist

Protesting against expolitation of poor no crime: Bombay High court

Standard

Prabhat Sharan Mumbai, Feb 5, 2013, DHNS

Court orders release of four artistes alleged to be Maoists

Last week, the Bombay High Court granted bail to four street theatre artistes for allegedly having Maoist connections, observing that “speaking about corruption, social inequality, exploitation of the poor etc and desiring a better society should come into existence and is not banned in our country.”

Granting bail to Dhawala Dhengle, Siddarth Bhosale, Mayuri Bhagat and Anuradha Sonule, against a surety of Rs 30,000 each, Justice Abhay Thipsay said: “Highlighting and creating social awareness on corruption, the widening gap between the rich and the poor and exploitation of the poor is commendable and cannot be considered an evidence of being members of a terrorist organisation.”

The artistes, belonging to a street theatre group named “Kabir Kala Manch,” were picked up the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in 2011 on grounds that they were inciting the people to violence and members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Though police had detained seven people initially, four of them were still in jail since the ATS claimed to have found “incriminating documents and books” in their possession.

Going through the evidence submitted by the state, Justice Thipsay said: “Many of the books found are available in the market and there is no denial of that by the state. In any case, the said literature is not banned and reading thereof is not prohibited.”

On charges that the theatre group was advocating violence through street plays, Justice Thipsay told the public prosecutor: “There is nothing wrong in raising social issues and emphasising that a change in social order is required. The same views are expressed by several national and eminent leaders and a person cannot be branded a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) for expressing such views.

“On the contrary, such a reasoning would indicate that these issues, which are real and important, are not addressed by anyone else, except the Communist Party of India (Maoist), which in turn would mean that other parties or social organisations are indifferent to these problems.”

Expressing surprise at the evidence based on which the artistes were imprisoned, Justice Thipsay said: “It is surprising that highlighting the wrongs prevalent in the society and insisting that there is a need to change the situation was considered as evidence and used to convince the court of them being members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).”

The judge further observed that even the expression of views “to the effect that a change in social order can be brought about only by a revolution” would not amount to any offence. Those who advocate the teachings of Karl Marx are certainly not committing any crime.

DOWNLOAD FULL JUDGEMENT HERE

 

Advertisements

#India -Raising social issues no crime: Bombay High Court #protest #justice

Standard
   Dhawala Dhengale

Court grants bail saying highlighting society’s flaws doesn’t make one a Maoist

Sunil Baghel, MM

Posted On Tuesday, February 05, 2013 at 04:15:07 AM

Raising issues like “social inequality” is not banned and hence is not punishable, the Bombay High Court observed while granting bail to four alleged Maoists.

“The interest taken by the applicants and their attempts to create social awareness is commendable,” observed Justice Abhay Thipsay while passing the judgment last Thursday. “How can their highlighting wrongs in society and insisting on the need for change be considered evidence of belonging to a terrorist organisation?”

Three accused – Dhawala Dhengale, Mayuri Bhagat and Anuradha Sonule – were allegedly associated with the Kabir Kala Manch, which held street plays on “social inequalities.” The fourth accused, Siddharth Bhosale, is alleged to be an important activist of the Maoists from whom provocative literature was seized.

Taking the State to task, the HC said, “It is surprising that the State should consider these activities as incriminating material. Speaking about corruption, social inequality, etc and seeking a better society is not banned.”

The court observed that national leaders express the same views and that “expression of these views cannot brand a person as a member of Communist Party of India (Maoists).”

The court noted that if the “concerns” are taken to be expressed only by CPI (Maoists), then “it would indicate that these issues are not addressed by anyone else except CPI (Maoists), which would mean that other parties or social organisations are indifferent to these problems”.

The Maharashtra ATS arrested the accused last April for being part of the Golden Corridor Committee, a group allegedly set up by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). They were granted bail of Rs 30,000 each with sureties of the same amount. The court had granted bail to two other accused last October, while observing that every person influenced by Maoist ideology can’t be treated as a member of the organisation.

ATS had allegedly recovered CDs, pen drives and printed material supposed to be used to spread the committee’s message.

The HC accepted the defence’s argument that most of the books were available in the market – a fact not denied by the State – and that the said literature was not banned under the provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code, and hence reading the literature was not prohibited.

The court observed that the accused can be said to be sympathisers of the Maoists philosophy. However, there was no evidence to show that they were “active members” of the said organisation.

Only one accused, Angela Sontakke – alleged to be the main accused and secretary of Golden Corridor Committee – now remains in custody.