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Statement condemning the illegal arrest of Disha Ravi



6/6 basement Jangpura B, Delhi – 110014

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


Executive Committee: Prashant Bhushan (convenor), Cheryl D’souza (secretary), Nikhil Dey, Alok Prasanna Kumar, Venkatesh Sundaram, Indu Prakash Singh, Rohit Kumar Singh, Pranav Sachdeva, Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri, Dipa Sinha, Annie Raja, Ramesh Nathan, Siddharth Sharma, Indira Unninayar, Madhuresh Kumar, Vijayan MJ, Vipul Mudgal, Koninika Ray



Statement condemning the illegal arrest of Disha Ravi

15th February 2021



The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms condemns the illegal arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi from her home in Bengaluru. Delhi Police Special Cell has violated all norms and procedures of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Constitution in doing so. The allegations against her are absurd to say the least and are an attempt to criminalize dissent and protest. Further, Delhi Police have failed to follow any of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar v State of Bihar (2014) when it comes to arrest


Being “arrested” from Bengaluru, she should have been produced before the competent court in Bengaluru for obtaining transit remand since she is being moved between states, but was not. She was instead produced before the Duty Magistrate in Patiala House Court in Delhi – by no means the “nearest magistrate” as required by clause (2) of Article 22. She also did not have an opportunity to seek appropriate legal counsel. These actions of Delhi police have made a complete mockery of the “procedure established by law” in depriving Disha Ravi of her right to life and liberty. Such illegal actions by Delhi Police would amount to a kidnapping under the pretence of law. 


We also note with deep disappointment the complete abdication of duty by the Duty Magistrate in Patiala House Court. Magistrates have an important constitutional role to play under Article 22 to ensure that any detention by the police is strictly in accordance with the law and procedure. However, the concerned Magistrate has performed their task in a mechanical manner that has resulted in a serious violation of human rights. Such an attitude among the judiciary renders the valuable right under Article 22(2) a virtual nullity and must be deprecated in the strongest possible manner. Such behaviour is regrettably common and requires judges and police being answerable and accountable for treating matters of life and liberty in a routine and casual manner. 


We therefore call upon the authorities to immediately release Disha Ravi from illegal detention and take disciplinary action against the concerned officers. Failing which we call upon the Delhi High Court to take immediate, suo motu cognizance of the illegal detention of Disha Ravi and release her, and initiate disciplinary action against the Duty Magistrate who has performed their constitutional duty in a casual and desultory manner. We call upon courts and judicial authorities across the country to properly sensitize and train magistrates in the performance of their constitutional duties.