92 former civil servants blame Indian SC for arrest of Teesta Setalvad, IPS officer

Teesta Setalvad
New Delhi, July 07 (KMS): A group of 92 retired civil servants has issued a statement urging the Supreme Court of India to review its verdict on Zakia Jafri and withdraw a paragraph that Gujarat police have cited to arrest social activist Teesta Setalvad and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer R B Sreekumar. In their statement, the civil servants blamed the Supreme Court for the arrest of human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP of Gujarat, RB Sreekumar. The action against them was taken because the Supreme Court told the authorities in Gujarat to put those who ‘kept the pot boiling’ ‘in the dock’, the statement said. It said that the recent three judge verdict in the Zakia Ahsan Jafri Vs. State of Gujarat case, decided on 24 June 2022 has, to say the least, left the Indian citizens totally disturbed and dismayed. “We, a group of former civil servants of the All India and Central Services who have come together as the Constitutional Conduct Group and are committed to the values enshrined in the Constitution, are deeply anguished by some of the contents of that judgement and the arrests that have followed in its wake,” the former government officials said in a statement, as per a media report. “It is not just the dismissal of the appeal that has surprised people – an appeal may, after all, be allowed or dismissed by an appellate court; it is the gratuitous comments that the bench has pronounced on the appellants and the counsel and the supporters of the appellants. In the most astonishing comment, the Supreme Court has lauded the officials of the Special Investigation Team who have defended the State and has excoriated the appellants who have challenged the findings of the SIT,” the statement said. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s own earlier observations clearly mention the laxity of the state government officials, it said. The implications of the Zakia Jafri judgement are extremely serious. It has overturned a core precept that, we believe, ought to guide an apex court established under a liberal democratic Constitution: to safeguard the basic right to life and liberty against questionable actions of the state. The Court has come out with a doctrine which enjoins the state to arrest and prosecute persons who dare to question the findings of investigating agencies, if the Court decides that these findings are beyond reproach, the statement said. The statement further said, “Our distress mirrors the horror and anguish that the words used by the Supreme Court, and the events that have occurred in the aftermath of this judgement, have evoked amongst respected individuals and organisations wedded to upholding human rights and the democratic values that underlie our Constitution. The directions contained in the order of the Court have been characterised in words never known to have been used before in the case of judgements delivered by the Supreme Court. The immediate action of the state in arresting human rights lawyer Teesta Setalvad and former DGP, RB Sreekumar, as well as filing a fresh case against Sanjiv Bhatt, who is already in prison, clearly occurred because the Supreme Court told the State government authorities to put those who ‘kept the pot boiling’ ‘in the dock’, though these persons were neither the appellants nor the accused in the case”.
%d bloggers like this: