APCR Facilitates Legal Battles Against Illegal Detentions

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In its endeavour to ensure justice, the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights provides pro-bono legal assistance to victims of state repression, particularly those who are targeted because of their identity.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Anti-blasphemy protests against former BJP spokespersons in various states, including Allahabad, resulted in omnibus FIRs and mass arrests. One of the victims of such sweeping police action was Mohammad Azeem. Azeem was incarcerated in jail for five months on a trumped-up charge of participating in violence before being granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on November 10, 2022.

In a similar action after Jahagirpuri violence on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti on April 16, 2022, more than 30 people were implicated in rioting. Of them, three accused namely Ahir, Zakir and Imtiyaz were released on bail by the Rohini court after six months of illegal detention under false case.

All these illegal detentions under false cases and arbitrary arrests have caused enormous hardship to people from disadvantaged and marginalised groups. Young men, who happen to be the sole breadwinner for their families, were left to languish in jails by the state merely because they belong to a particular community.

It’s often said the law will take its own course, but in India, the legal process itself is a punishment. Prolonged detention with or without trial in the name of legal process, harassment and even torture, both mental and physical, at the hands of police and irritating and time-consuming judicial procedure often dampen the spirit of the accused to fight their case.

Consequently, those accused of false cases end up spending varying periods of time in jails on bogus charges and flawed investigations. Liberty, crippled even for a day, is a debt on the state that cannot be paid. Nevertheless these hapless people are made to spend valuable time of their lives in prison. What’s more, they continue to be haunted by the state machinery even after their release.

In its endeavour to bring justice, the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) provides pro-bono legal assistance to victims of state repression, particularly those who are targeted because of their identity. Through our tenacious efforts with the association of Passionate Lawyers, we managed to secure bail in the cases of Delhi riot, Jahangirpuri violence, Allahabad violence and many more.

The APCR firmly believes that every accused person is deemed innocent until proven guilty and that “bail is a rule, jail is an exception,” as stated by the Supreme Court of India in a landmark decision in State of Rajasthan vs. Balchand alias Baliya (AIR 1977 2447).

To further this objective, while the APCR has successfully secured bails in more than hundred cases in the past, hundreds of similar cases are still pending across courts in India.

We are hopeful that the courts of law will ensure a fair and independent investigation and trial in all the riots cases and will ensure justice to the victims by directing appropriate legal action against the real perpetrators and conspirators behind these heinous crimes.

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