States ordered to verify allegations of persecution after federal government described cases as fake Christian leaders have lauded India’s top court for directing the states to verify allegations of persecution against the community people after the federal government refuted their complaints as baseless. “We are satisfied with the Supreme Court order,” Archbishop Peter Machado of the Archdiocese of Bangalore (now Bengaluru) told UCA News on Sept. 5. Archbishop Machado, based in Bengaluru, capital of southern Karnataka state, is one of the petitioners in the public interest litigation (PIL) that sought direction to end the persecution against Christians in the country. A division bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli in an interim order directed chief secretaries of eight states to verify allegations of persecution of Christians listed in the PIL. The verification, the court said, would help it know the reality after the federal government described the incidents listed in the PIL as fake cases and urged the court to dismiss the petition. The top court in its Sept. 1 order also directed the states to provide information such as preliminary police reports, status of investigation, arrests made and charges filed. The top court also directed the petitioners to provide a detailed breakdown of the

Among scholars of note who have written to the apex court in the light of the Zakia Jafri judgment are Noam Chomsky, Martha Nussbaum, Wendy Brown and Sheldon Pollock. Top Global Scholars Urge SC to Review Recent Orders Harming 'Human Rights in India' A view of the Supreme Court building Photo: Reuters New Delhi: Top international scholars have written a statement expressing that they are deeply disturbed by some recent judgments of the Supreme Court which they believe have had a “direct bearing on the future of civil liberties and human rights in India.” The signatories draw attention to the apex court’s judgment in a plea by Zakia Jafri, the wife of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging a Special Investigation Team’s clean chit to 64 people, including then chief minister Narendra Modi, in the 2002 Gujarat riots case. The statement is signed by: Bhiku Parekh, House of Lords, London, UK. Noam Chomsky, Professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Professor, University of Arizona, USA. Arjun Appadurai, Professor, Max Planck Institute, Germany. Wendy Brown, Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, USA Sheldon Pollock, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, USA. Carol Rovane, Professor, Columbia University, USA. Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus, McGill University, Canada. Martha Nussbaum, Professor, University of

One of the convicts spoke to and claimed he was innocent. He also claimed he had come home straight from prison, a fact belied by photos of the event. In Godhra, Bilkis Bano convicts felicitated by RSS member soon after their release Eleven men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case walked out free on August 15. They were felicitated at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Trust auditorium by a member of the RSS. | Sitting in his family-run grocery store on Tuesday, flanked by a host of relatives, 47-year-old Radhshyam Shah kept referring to himself as the “accused”. When it was pointed out to him that he had, in fact, been convicted of gangrape – a verdict upheld by the Supreme Court – his response was matter-of-fact: “Yes, the court did say that.” “But,” he was quick to add, “we are innocent.” In 2008, Shah and 11 other men from Randhikpur in Gujarat’s Dahod district were sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a young pregnant woman from their village, Bilkis Yakub Rasul Patel, more commonly known as Bilkis Bano, and for murdering 14 of her relatives during the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat. Those killed included a day-old infant and Bano’s three-year-old daughter. The

Seeks dismissal of a petition for urgent intervention of Supreme Court to end attacks on Christians and their institutions India’s federal government has sought dismissal of a petition that sought to end the persecution of Christians, saying there could be a “hidden oblique agenda” behind it. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on Aug. 16, the government said there seemed to be an agenda behind filing “such deceptive petitions.” The government alleged that such petitions were meant to “create unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of our nation.” The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, said that an average of 45 to 50 violent attacks against Christian institutions and priests were reported every month. A record 57 attacks were recorded in May, the petition said and sought urgent intervention from the top court. Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the federal government, told the court that such “half-baked and self-serving facts and self-serving articles and reports culminating into a petition — based upon mere conjectures — clearly appear to be for an oblique purpose.” Describing the petition as

No merit in reports judges not keen on anti-violence case filed by Christians, says Archbishop Peter Machado India's Christian community has immense faith in the nation's judiciary, says Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore India's Christian community has immense faith in the nation's judiciary, says Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore. (Photo: UCAN files) A Catholic archbishop has condemned media reports saying India’s top court was delaying the hearing of a case seeking an end to violence against Christians. “I am extremely distressed about articles in newspapers that the honorable Supreme Court, India’s top court, is not taking up the matter of attacks against Christians. There is no merit in the allegation. I strongly condemn it,” said Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore in southern Karnataka province, on July 30. The prelate’s statement came a couple of days after Supreme Court Justice D Y Chandrachud criticized a section of the media for carrying news items hinting that the top court was not very keen on hearing the petition. Ucan Store “You get it published in newspapers that the Supreme Court is delaying the hearing. Look, there is a limit to which you can target the judges. Who supplies all this news,” asked Justice Chandrachud on July 27 while clarifying the

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