Adv. Surendra Gadling has been the lawyer of Arun Ferreira, who was arrested for being a ‘maoist sympathiser’ in 2007, but was acquitted by the trial court on 27th September 2011, only to be rearrested again literally the minute he stepped foot out of the jail threshold (he couldn’t even meet his family waiting outside the jail).
In these spine-chilling examples, Adv. Surendra recounts how re-arrest has become a tool in the hands of the Indian police to keep those who they think are ‘trouble makers’ out of the streets. He recounts examples where people have been rearrested multiple times, often even going against the dictates of the various courts of the country.
With rearrest becoming a rule of law, the real rule of law as defined by the constitution does not exist in many parts of the country where police, instead of judiciously doing their duty, play the role of judge, jury and executioner in an extremely high handed manner.
As a lawyer, he gives legal strength to his point. E.g. he gives examples of times when the police have put a person on trial twice on the same charges and often on the same chargesheet. This is illegal according to Indian law. No person can be put on trial twice on the same case, and on the same charges.
In another chilling recounting, he tells of how innocent people in many rural areas, scared of police highhandedness, themselves go to the police station, ask the charges that have been framed against them and surrender.
Is it any surprising to hear Adv. Surendra say, ‘There’s only jungle law in our country.’
This recording is from a meeting – ‘Threat To Democracy: Terror Through The Rule Of Law’ held on the 7th October, 2011 at the Press Club, Mumbai. The meeting was organised by CPDR – Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights.