Saturday, April 30, 2016

Abu Asim Azmi On Malegaon Bomb Blast Victim

After SC [Supreme Court] order, Maharashtra releases highest number of under-trials - Written by Zeeshan Shaikh - The Indian Express

The Indian Express

After SC [Supreme Court] order, Maharashtra releases highest number of under-trials

This number of released prisoners accounts for nearly 24.74 per cent of Maharashtra’s last-known undertrial population of 19,895 prisoners and has made activists skeptical about the claims of the government. 

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Updated: April 30, 2016 2:20 am
If numbers are to be believed, at least 4,923 undertrial prisoners have been released from Maharashtra’s jails between July 2015 and January 2016. Their release has been in pursuance of a Supreme Court directive that asked states to release on bail those prisoners who had served at least half the sentence they would have been awarded if convicted.

This number of released prisoners accounts for nearly 24.74 per cent of Maharashtra’s last-known undertrial population of 19,895 prisoners and has made activists skeptical about the claims of the government.

A total of 5,819 prisoners were released across the country after the SC’s order, with Maharashtra accounting for nearly 85 per cent of these released prisoners. The second largest number is from Uttar Pradesh, with 198 released undertrials.

These numbers were made public in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by MoS Home Affairs Haribhai Chaudhary.

In June 2013, Justice R C Lahoti, a former Chief Justice of India, had written a letter to the then CJI, inviting attention to the inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons across India. The letter was taken up as a public interest writ petition, and on April 2015, the SC passed an order, directing steps be taken to improve the conditions of prisons.
Among the various directives, one was to ask all the states to ensure that the Under Trial Review Committees of each consider the cases of undertrial prisoners, entitled to the benefit of Section 436A.

Under this section, all those undertrials who have served half of the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for the offence they are accused of, can be released on bail. The only rider is that the prisoner should not be an accused of an offence punishable by death.

“The Under Trial Review Committee should specifically look into aspects pertaining to effective implementation of Section 436 of the CrPC and Section 436A of the CrPC, so that undertrial prisoners are released at the earliest and those who cannot furnish bail bonds due to poverty are not subjected to incarceration only for that reason,” a two-member bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice R K Agarwal had said in an order, dated February 2016, while evaluating the implementation of the previous recommendations.

The state has, meanwhile, claimed that all the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) had been requested by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to urgently take up the cases of the undertrial prisoners, entitled to the benefit of Section 436A of CrPC, and to instruct the panel lawyers to urgently meet such prisoners and move appropriate application before the courts for their release.

“Under Trial Review Committees have been established in every district across the country, comprising of district judges as chairman and secretary, district legal services authorities as one of the members to monitor and review the cases of aforesaid under-trial prisoners for their early release,” Haribhai Chaudhary said in Parliament.

When contacted, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Vijay Satbir Singh said that he was on leave. ADGP (Prisons) BK Upadhyay could not be contacted.

Activists have been skeptical about the high numbers shown for Maharashtra. “The SC directive had explicitly named Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh in its order, due to their high undertrial population. 

However, the number of persons released account for nearly 24 per cent of Maharashtra’s undertrial population, which is a huge number. Interestingly, when we had sought these numbers through an RTI application, they had refused to share them,” said Sugandha Mathur, Project Officer, Prison Reform Common Wealth Human Rights Initiative.

Malegaon blasts case: SP MLA seeks action against ATS officers | Petitions allege bias by investigating agencies

The Indian Express

Malegaon blasts case: SP MLA seeks 

action against ATS officers

Azmi was speaking at a function he had organised for Muslim youth 

recently discharged in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 30, 2016 3:01 am
During the meeting, some of the youth discharged spoke about their experience and the brutality they faced in custody. (Archive Photo) - 

Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi on Friday claimed there was danger of Muslim youth taking up guns in reaction to police brutality. Azmi was speaking at a function he had organised for Muslim youth recently discharged in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case.

Azmi said ATS officers should face legal consequences for trying to falsely implicate innocent persons. “The state needs to be careful that young men are not forced to take up the gun in reaction to brutality of police,” said Azmi at a meeting called by Milli Tehreek. The meeting was called to seek justice and compensation for Muslim youth discharged by a special MCOCA Court from charges of planning and carrying out the 2006 Malegaon blast.

“I demand that all these police officers who brutalised these men in lock-up are punished. The then ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi had once said if these Malegaon accused were ever found innocent, he was ready to face punishment. I ask him today, he should remain true to his words and be ready to face justice,” Azmi said.

During the meeting, some of the youth discharged spoke about their experience and the brutality they faced in custody.

“The ATS tortured me non-stop for 48 straight days. They used to tie us up and hit us on soles of our feet. They threatened to bring our women and degrade them in front of our eyes if we did not confess,” Noorul Hudda Shamshudduha said.

Raees Ahmed claimed the ATS staff celebrated the day he signed the confession letter. “They beat me up for a one whole month and partied the day I signed the confession under duress. Soon after I signed, one of the police officers came up to me and said ‘Tumhari na hi bomb banane ki na hi bomb lagane ki aukat hai’,” Raees Ahmed Mansuri said.

Another pointed out how police would massage him with oil a day before they were to be presented for a medical check up or in front of courts.

They opened the gates of hell for me for 28 straight days. They would stop hitting me only a day before I was supposed to be taken for a check up or to court. That day, they would massage us with oil and offer us haldi in our food to help us hide our marks. The thrashing would begin as soon as the check up ended and we returned,” Mohammed

Zahid Ansari said.


Malegaon blasts case: Petitions allege bias by investigating agencies

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik has asked state and investigative agencies to produce orders in the case.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 30, 2016 3:33 am
malegaon blast, mumbai blast, 2006 malegaon blast, 2006 mumbai blast, plea heard, malegaon blast suspects, indian express
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik has asked state and investigative agencies to produce orders in the case. (Express archive)

Following a special court discharging Muslim youth in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, the issue of bias on the part of investigating agencies during investigation of terror cases was raised before the Bombay High Court on Friday. The court said the “matter will have to be heard”, and asked for the orders in the case to be submitted before them.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik has asked state and investigative agencies to produce orders in the case.

The court was hearing several petitions which alleged that there was a pattern of investigative agencies picking up Muslim men as accused in terror cases, including the Pune German Bakery blasts, 7/11 blasts and the 2006 Malegaon blasts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

End Triple Talaq Divorce - By Zeenat Shaukat Ali - The Times of India

My comments on Ms. Zeenat Shaukat Ali's article - End Triple Talaq Divorce published in The Times of India :

Ghulam MuhammedMumbai24 secs ago

Zeenat Shaukat Ali, a supposed Islamic Scholar, is probably committing a great injustice to Islam, by trying to confine the entire body Sharia to Holy Quran. Even in Quran, there are clear instructions for Muslims to follow not just Quran, but the Prophet and those who are in-charge. How can Zeenat then try to prove that since it is not in Quran, Triple Talaaq has no basis in Islam. Misguided progressives are trying to force Government to assume the role of a Theocratic Islamic State which it is not. India is a secular pluralist country, and neither Hindutva nor Islamic zealots nor misguided Progressives who are in fact anti-religious per se, can change its constitution through Supreme Court intervention.

The Times of India, Mumbai (Print Edition)

End Triple Talaq Divorce

Shayara Bano case will be critical for gender justice to Muslim women

Inline image 1

By Zeenat Shaukat Ali

The Supreme Court’s suo motu decision delivered by Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit, to test the legal validity of triple talaq in one sitting in the petition filed by Shayara Bano, has long been overdue. Shayara Bano – a sociology postgraduate and a mother of two – appealed that triple talaq be declared unconstitutional when her husband ended their 15-year-old marriage by sending her a letter with the word talaq written on it thrice.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has declared that the country’s top court has no jurisdiction to undertake the exercise as Muslim Personal Law “is inextricably interwoven with the religion of Islam”, being based on the Quran and not on a law enacted by Parliament. This argument has little logic. It needs to be unequivocally stated that the talaq-i-bidat, admitted by the Muslim Personal Law Board to be “sinful” and an “innovation”, finds no sanction in the Quran.
Neither does the Quran sanction this form of divorce in one sitting nor was it legally held permissible by the Prophet. Such a practice violates the fundamental principles of gender justice, gender equity, good conscience and the dignity of women strongly enunciated in Islam.
The Prophet denounced the pre-Islamic, patriarchal notion of the husband’s absolute right to divorce, stating that divorce was the most reprehensible of all things permitted: “God has not created anything on the face of the earth that he loves more than emancipation; and God has created nothing upon the face of the earth more hateful to him than divorce” (AD 13:3). The Quran illustrates this point by expressing approval when the Prophet recommended that Zayd should not divorce his wife in spite of the fact that there was long standing dissension between husband and wife. “Behold thou should say to one who has received the Grace of God and His favour, retain your wife in wedlock and fear God” (Q 33:37).
The arbitrary, undisputed, absolute power of divorce by the husband with triple talaq in a single sitting was the common customary law practised in pre-Islamic Arabia in the days of jahiliyya or ignorance, where a husband would discard his wife by contemptuously tossing his slipper saying “you are unto me like my slipper”. This is a grave distortion of the law of divorce in Islam and was condemned by the Prophet as the following Tradition demonstrates: “The Messenger of Allah was informed of a man (Rukhana) who divorced his wife three times together, his face became red and he stood up in displeasure and said: ‘Is the Book of Allah being sported with while I am still in your midst?’” (NS 27:6)
This mode of talaq, once pronounced, is considered “bain” or irrevocable where rights of inheritance cease immediately on pronouncement though the death of the husband or wife may occur during the period of iddat or period of waiting. Further, in this form of talaq, if the parties wish to remarry the wife undergoes halala, a humiliating pre-Islamic practice where the wife went through a marriage with another man which is consummated and subsequently dissolved.
As Justice Ameer Ali points out, legitimacy of the triple talaq seems to have crept into Islamic jurisprudence at the instance of the Umayyad monarchs. Inexplicably, although disapproved by the classical jurists, it has been accepted by most Sunni jurists.
Unfortunately the legality of this mode of divorce is upheld in India if the husband were to repudiate his wife during her menstrual flow, if he is in a drunken state, in a fit of temper, in jest, at the slip of a tongue, when the woman is pregnant and other such situations, communicated even by means of a telephone call, an SMS, through Facebook or over Skype.
Needless to say talaq-i-bidat has devastated the lives of many women and children. Deprived of any opportunity for reconciliation, this mode of divorce has been subject to criticism in several Muslim countries.
Modernist interpretation advocated by scholars introduced reform through the juristic means of ijtehad (creative interpretation). Several Muslim countries have brought about reform through codification. Countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan have either reformed the law completely or brought about legally stringent preventive measures in this area. Tunisia brought about reform by de-recognition of the triple talaq within the circumference and perimeter of Islamic law.
The time has come for major strides to be taken to bring about reform and change in the Muslim Personal Law in India. In order to accomplish this, codification of the Muslim Personal Law is an imperative. The process of codification of Muslim Law must now be seriously undertaken by a group of legal experts, experienced jurists well versed in the Muslim law, legal experts, liberal ulema and scholars in the field. Gender-just laws must be the common denominator. Alongside Muslim women, Muslim men’s organisations must push for change.
If Muslim countries can bring about reform in family laws India must follow suit. In the words of Justice Hidayatullah: “If the lead is coming from Muslim countries, it is hoped that in the course of time the same measures will be applied in India also.”
We await the judgment of the Supreme Court, seeking gender justice.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.