EX-JUDGES WRITE TO CJI ON UP’S BULLDOZER DRIVE
A letter by former Supreme Court judges Justice B Sudarshan Reddy, Justice V Gopala Gowda, Justice A K Ganguly along with former Delhi HC Chief Justice A P Shah, retired Madras HC judge Justice K Chandru and former judge of Karnataka HC Justice Mohammed Anwar, has appealed to the apex court to take suo motu cognisance of the recent incidents of “repression” by the state authorities against protestors who were agitating against certain “objectionable” remarks against the Prophet ﷺ made by some BJP leaders who have since been sacked. The letter was delivered by advocate Prasant Bhushan whose name is also in the list of signatories along with five senior advocates. It alleged that more than 300 people have so far have been arrested and are being beaten in police custody while their houses are being demolished without notice. “Such a brutal clampdown is an unacceptable subversion of the rule of law and a violation of the rights of citizens,” it said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on June 16 asked the Uttar Pradesh government not to carry out demolition activities “except in accordance with law” and gave it three days to demonstrate how its recent drives had followed procedural and municipal laws.
2 LAWYERS FILE PLEA IN SC, SEEK ACTION AGAINST SACKED BJP LEADER
Two lawyers Abu Sohail and Chand Qureshi have filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the arrest of now-sacked BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her comments on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on a news channel, and requesting the apex court to order an “independent, credible and fair investigation” into the matter. The petitioners said Ms Sharma’s statement has “caused great discontent and uproar in the country and around the world… The image of our great nation was tarnished because of Nupur Sharma’s statement.” Several FIRs have been filed against Ms Sharma in Maharashtra and other states over her comment. Meanwhile, former Assam Minister Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya filed a First Information Report (FIR) in Katigorah police station on June 14 against the two for ‘hurting the religious sentiments of his community’.
BJP COUNCILLOR QUITS PARTY TO PROTEST NUPUR SHARMA COMMENT
Tabassum Mirza, BJP councillor from ward number 14 of Kota Municipal Corporation, South (Rajasthan) has resigned from the party, as a sign of protest against Nupur Sharma’s blasphemous remarks. According to a report on June 14, she submitted her resignation letter to party’s state unit chief Satish Poonia and Kota district president Krishan Kumar Soni on June 13. Tabassum Mirza, who joined the BJP a decade ago, felt she couldn’t continue to work with the party any further after the controversy. In her letter she reportedly wrote, “If I continue to be member of BJP and support it despite there being so much (against the Prophet), there would be none other bigger offender than me. Now my consciousness has awakened and I can no longer continue to work with the party.”
RANCHI TOP COP GETS NOTICE FOR PUTTING UP SUSPECTS POSTERS
The authorities have issued a show-cause notice to senior police superintendent Surendra Jha for putting up posters of suspects following violence during protests in Ranchi last week over now-sacked BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments about Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The notice cited a January 2020 Allahabad High Court order saying putting up such posters violates the right to privacy and the Constitution’s Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) and asked Jha to reply within two days. Police put up posters of 33 suspects in public places on the directions of Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais, seeking information from the public about them on June 14 before removing them citing technical grounds. They have arrested 29 people in connection with the protests.
WB IMAM BODY FORMS LEGAL TEAM TO HELP DETAINED PROTESTERS
The Bengal Imam Association has announced legal aid to youths who were detained by police for taking part in protests over Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Imam body has formed a legal team to help the youths. However, the association has said that only innocent youths in custody will be offered help. Bengal Imam Association President Mohammad Yahia said many innocent youths have been arrested by the police in incidents of violence during protests against Nupur Sharma’s remarks in Howrah, Murshidabad and Nadia of West Bengal. Yahia said the legal aid was not meant for people and miscreants involved in incidents of violence. The legal aid is only for those who have been detained or arrested by the police by mistake, Yahia clarified.
According to Yahia, the Bengal Imam Association has formed a legal team for this. The team includes lawyers from Kolkata High Court, Berhampur High Court, Nadia, and the Supreme Court.
NCERT DROPS CHAPTERS ON GUJARAT RIOTS, MUGHAL HISTORY
Content on the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Mughal rule in India and the nationwide Emergency imposed in 1975 are among the texts dropped by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) from its textbooks. In a note released on June 16, the NCERT said the revision was part of “rationalisation of contents in textbooks”. Changes have been made to textbooks for Classes 6 to Classes 12. A reference to the Gujarat riots from the chapter “Recent Developments in Indian Politics” has been removed from Class 12 Political Science curriculum, according to the NCERT note. “Gujarat riots show that the government machinery also becomes susceptible to sectarian passions,” a paragraph from the removed chapter stated, said The Indian Express. An entire chapter titled “Kings and Chronicles: the Mughal Courts (C. Sixteen-Seventeenth Centuries)” has also been dropped from the Class 12 History syllabus. From the Political Science textbook, one page on the history of the Naxal movement, and four pages on “Controversies regarding Emergency” have also been dropped. Other content removed from the Class 12 syllabus include excerpts on the Cold War and “US Hegemony in World Politics”. From the Class 11 history textbook, a chapter titled “Central Islamic lands” and another named “The Industrial Revolution” have been dropped.
NBDSA DIRECTS CHANNELS TO REMOVE VIDEOS ON UMAR KHALID
The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) issued four orders on June 13, Monday, directing certain broadcasts, on the alleged media trial against Umar Khalid in the Delhi riots’ case, by Zee News, Zee Hindustan, India TV, Aaj Tak and News18 to be removed immediately for misreporting and misrepresenting facts, a report said on June 15. The NBDSA is a self-regulatory body of private TV channels, which is chaired by former Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri. Formerly known as the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, the NBDSA was created to consider and adjudicate complaints about broadcasts and its orders apply to all channels that are members of the News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA). The media body had previously issued orders against Zee News, directing it to take down a video in which farmers who were protesting against the farm laws were called “Khalistanis”.
TELANGANA BJP LEADER JITTA BALAKRISHNAN ARRESTED
The Rachakonda Police in Telangana’s Hyderabad arrested BJP leader Jitta Balakrishna Reddy and have booked state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar for criticising Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, using derogatory comments and calling the CM a “boozer and cheater.” A case has been filed under sections 114, 504, 505 (2) read with section 109 of the Indian Penal Code at Hyathnagar police station. It was alleged that on June 2, the Telangana BJP unit, under the leadership of Bandi Sanjay and others, organised an event in view of the Telangana Formation Day and “misused the dais and played a skit (hate act) with the help of the BJP cultural team.”