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Vindicated by SC verdict on activists, say petitioners

Lawyer Vrinda Grover along with historian Romila Thapar, economist Prabhat Patnaik and others addressing a press conference on Friday.

Lawyer Vrinda Grover along with historian Romila Thapar, economist Prabhat Patnaik and others addressing a press conference on Friday.  

‘SC judgment gives activists the liberty to seek remedy from appropriate courts’

Petitioners who moved the Supreme Court in favour of arrested activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao and others said on Friday that they felt vindicated by Thursday’s verdict extending their house arrest for four weeks.

“Today’s judgment has provided protection to the activists for a further period of four weeks and has given them the liberty to seek remedy from appropriate courts,” said a statement read out by historian Romila Thapar, one of the petitioners. “Our stand in this case finds vindication in the dissenting opinion of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who has categorically held that liberty cannot be sacrificed at the altar of conjecture, and that the police had taken liberties with the truth and besmirched the reputation of the activists by doing a media trial. Under such circumstances, the police’s ability to conduct a free, fair and impartial trial is in serious doubt, as has been held by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover and economist Prabhat Patnaik, who is also a petitioner, were also present.

The statement said that while those accused had been implicated in acts of terrorism, there were two kinds of terrorism that create fear and undermine the foundations of democracy. “The violent acts of those described as terrorists, who plant bombs, instigate people to be violent, engineer riots and deliberately spread fear though their acts; and the illegal or unjustified acts of state functionaries who, instead of pursuing the actual perpetrators of violence, misuse their powers to harass those who do not conform to the politics of their current masters,” the statement explained.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 10:07:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vindicated-by-sc-verdict-on-activists-say-petitioners/article25074571.ece

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