First of its kind Peoples Tribunal on Acquitted Innocents to be held on Gandhi Jayanti

By A Mirsab,,

New Delhi: Innocence Network, an all-India collective of individuals and organisations working for the rights of the people wrongfully prosecuted or convicted especially under charges of terrorism, is going to organise Peoples Tribunal on Acquitted Innocents on the occasion of 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The event is scheduled for October 2, 2016 between 10.30 am to 3.00 pm at Constitution club, New Delhi. This will be the first ever Tribunal of this type that will be held in the country providing means of getting attention to the unrepresented and unheard voices of those wronged by the system.

The Tribunal will consist of a Jury headed by a retired judge along with other distinguished members from the legal fraternity as well as the larger civil society. The jury includes Justice A.P. Shah, Former Chief Justice-Delhi High Court and Chairperson, 20th Law Commission; Prof. G.S Bajpai, Registrar, National Law University, Delhi; Neena Vyas, Senior Journalist; Naseem Ahmad, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities; Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Filmmaker; Prof. Nandini Sundar, Academic and author; Prof. Abdul Shaban, Former Deputy Director, TISS and Advocate Monica Sakhrani, Academic and lawyer.

As many as 15 persons who have been acquitted from terror cases will give their testimony during the event. Dossier on 2006 Mumbai Train Blasts (7/11) and screening of a short animation film on Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) will also take place as a part of the program.

It shall also host a panel discussion between these acquitted men, senior journalists, human rights activists and senior lawyers and eminent judges of High Court and Supreme Court of India.

The idea to establish an innocence collective similar to the one in the US and other countries was in my head for a long time. Abroad, such movements with thorough understanding of the justice framework as well as advocacy methods have yielded good results. With this in mind we have established Innocence Network as a small initiative that seeks to equip the innocents to carry forward their struggles themselves, Sharib Ali, Program Head, Quill Foundation told

When asked what the Innocence Network wish to achieve through such programs, Ali said, The demands are many. Presently, we seek a comprehensive legislative framework to deal with issues relating to compensation and rehabilitation of victims of wrongful prosecution in terrorism cases.”

Quill Foundation is one of the core bodies facilitating the Innocence Network along with other civil society organisations : Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA), Peoples’ Campaign against Politics of Terror (PCPT), Aman Biradari, Karvaan and many others.

The Innocence Network seeks reform at the criminal justice level to prevent the practice of unjust incarceration. It also aims to establish support mechanisms for exonerees to help rebuild their lives post release.


Extracted fromtwocircles

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