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Letter to the Chief Justice regarding SC judges retreat



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judicialreforms.org, judicialreforms@gmail.com

Patrons:  Justice P.B. Sawant, Justice H. Suresh, Shri Shanti Bhushan,, Prof. B.B.Pande,, Dr. Bhaskar Rao, Ms. Arundhati Roy, Dr. Banwari Lal Sharma, Shri PradipPrabhu, Prof Babu Mathew, Dr. Baba Adhav, Ms. Kamini Jaiswal, Shri Mihir Desai, Shri Manoj Mitta

Executive Committee:Prashant Bhushan, Venkatesh Sundaram, Indu Prakash Singh, , Devvrat,  Nikhil Dey, Cheryl D’souza, Alok Prasanna Kumar, Anjali Bharadwaj, Dipa Sinha, Annie Raja, Ramesh Nathan, Siddharth Sharma, Indira Unninayar, Madhuresh Kumar, Vijayan MJ, Harish Narasappa, Surya Prakash, Vipul Mudgal, Koninika Ray



The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi


11th April 2016


Subject : Regarding the proposed Supreme Court Judges break and briefing by the National Security Adviser


Dear Hon’ble Chief Justice,

It has been reported in the Media recently that starting April 14th 2016, all the Judges of the Supreme Court of India are attending a three day residential retreat at the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal. It has also been reported that the various sessions over the three day retreat will be on a variety of issues such as business and education to give the judges an overview of the world outside the judiciary. The National Security Adviser (NSA) Mr. Ajit Doval, it has been reported, will take a closed door session with the judges on issues of national security and the threat of terrorism.

We wish to bring to your kind attention that traditionally there has been a conflict between the perspectives offered by the security agencies and those that are offered by human rights organisations, around the legitimacy of many actions of security agencies, some of which constitute a violation of human rights. Many of such cases reach the courts for adjudication, where both sides are heard. With this in the backdrop we think it may be inappropriate for the Judges to be briefed only by the NSA in the absence of representatives from human rights organisations offering an alternative perspective from the point of view of how the actions of security agencies impact human rights. We therefore urge that for a more holistic understanding around these issues of national security and human rights, representatives from human rights organisations and human rights lawyers also be invited to brief the Judges.

Many credible human rights organisations like the People Union for Democratic Rights, Human Rights Law Network, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, etc. and noted human rights lawyers like Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Ms. Kamini Jaiswal, Ms. Nitya Ramakrishnan, Ms. Vrinda Grover and others, may also be considered, to be invited to this briefing of Judges on national security and implications for human rights.


Yours sincerely,


Prashant Bhushan


Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms