JTSA releases Delhi Police's Special Cell Report on framing & acquittals


New Delhi: Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association released “Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a very ‘Special’ Cell” at the Jamia Millia Islamia on 18 September. The 200-page report was released by Justice Rajender Sachar, former chief justice of Delhi High Court. The report consolidates accounts of 16 cases of framing of innocent Muslim boys by Delhi Police’s Special Cell and their acquittal. They were picked up while some of them were as young as 17 years old.

The event had two such falsely charged youth who were released after spending 14 years each of their lives inside prison, going through various trials in different cities to defend themselves against false charges in umpteen fake cases while their family members ran around looking for lawyers but in vain.

The programme started with Prof MS Bhat of JMI’s department of economics and president of JTSA, addressing the gathering and giving a sense of how the report should be taken constructively and objectively and as an aid for providing social entitlements to Indians and should not be seen as an anti-government campaign.  

Release of Framed, Damned, Acquitted - Delhi Police Special Cell stories

Sanghamitra Misra, member of the JTSA and now affiliated with Delhi University, gave a brief on the report and pointed out how promotions in the Special Cell surpassed those in other departments of the Police and how Special Cell officers were awarded with President’s medals etc for extra-judicial murders and tampering of evidence. She demanded that the state be held accountable for the framing of false charges against boys who are subsequently released with precious years of their lives lost.

Justice Sachar congratulated JTSA on the hard work they put in their fact-finding work. He said such work should be used as building blocks to fight against the inequalities in the society. He quoted the famous lines of a German intellectualt:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me.

Saying that such biases can only be fought collectively and that the injustices levelled against members of minorities should not be taken lightly by others, he called for active participation of Indian citizens to share the burden of being alert and aware and use the tools in the constitution to do so. He touched upon the Sedition Act of 1860 in the Indian Constitution and how it reflected colonial intolerance of popular movements. This act, he said, should be disbanded in order to promote a healthy democracy.

Human rights activist Advocate ND Pancholi spoke about democracy being the responsibility of all citizens. He said, in a broader picture, people should come together to take care of these matters and raise their voice against unreported events and misquoting/misrepresentation of facts by the media and should speak out against the Supreme Court protecting the Special Cell.

Advocates Trideep Pais and Jawahar Raja, who worked closely on the report, threw light on the dearth of legal aid for innocent undertrials and the loopholes in the implementation of law and misinterpretation of the constitution to suit government needs. They signed off with “Law and justice are too important to be left to the courts and the judiciary”.

Novelist and human rights activist Arundhati Roy discussed the patterns of Police’s modus operandi in such cases and the State’s role in creating bogeys to be able to militarise and  dehumanise society and keep their subjects busy with nerve-rattling reports created with the help of Special Cell’s favoured journalists in various news media.

See review of the report, page 21

To buy a copy click here

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2012 on page no. 1

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