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Press Release – PUCL-Karnataka urges the Karnataka Government to redress the impact of the de facto ban on the hijab in educational institutions on Muslim women’s right to education, dignity and privacy

January 9, 2023 by · Comments Off on Press Release – PUCL-Karnataka urges the Karnataka Government to redress the impact of the de facto ban on the hijab in educational institutions on Muslim women’s right to education, dignity and privacy
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Kannada Press Release

Impact of Hijab Ban in Karnataka’s Educational Institutions – An Interim Study Report

September 10, 2022 by · Comments Off on Impact of Hijab Ban in Karnataka’s Educational Institutions – An Interim Study Report
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ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯದ ಹಕ್ಕು ರಕ್ಷಣೆ ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆ – 2022: ಪಿ.ಯು.ಸಿ.ಎಲ್ ತೀವ್ರ ಖಂಡನೆ.

May 23, 2022 by · Comments Off on ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯದ ಹಕ್ಕು ರಕ್ಷಣೆ ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆ – 2022: ಪಿ.ಯು.ಸಿ.ಎಲ್ ತೀವ್ರ ಖಂಡನೆ.
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ತಾರೀಕು 17.05.2022 ರಂದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರವು ಒಂದು ಅಸಾಧಾರಣ ಕ್ರಮದ ಮೂಲಕ “ಕನಾ೯ಟಕ
ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರದ ಹಕ್ಕು ರಕ್ಷಣೆ -2022” ಎಂಬ ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆ ಹೊರಡಿಸಿದೆ. ಈ ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆ
ಹೊರಡಿಸಬೇಕಾದ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶವಾಗಲೀ , ತುರ್ತಾಗಲೀ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಇದು ಭಾರತದ ಸಂವಿಧಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾಡಿದ ಘೋರ
ಅಪಚಾರ. ಇದು ಸಂವಿಧಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಶಾಸಕಾಂಗ, ಕಾರ್ಯಾಂಗ ಮತ್ತು ನ್ಯಾಯಾಂಗಗಳಿಗೆ ವಿಧಿಸಿರುವ ಅಧಿಕಾರ
ವಿಭಜನೆಯ ತತ್ವಗಳ ಅಣಕವಾಗಿದೆ. ಶಾಸಕಾಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಶಾಸನ ಮಾಡುವ ಅಧಿಕಾರವನ್ನು ಸಂವಿಧಾನ
ನೀಡಿದೆ. ಕಾರ್ಯಾಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ಅಧಿಕಾರ ಇಲ್ಲ.


ಈ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಭಾರತೀಯರಿಗೆ ಸಂವಿಧಾನ ಖಾತ್ರಿ ಪಡಿಸಿರುವ ಸಂವಿಧಾನಿಕ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರಗಳ ಮೇಲಿನ
ದಾಳಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದರಿಂದಾಗಿ ಈವರೆಗೂ ವಿವಿಧ ಧರ್ಮಗಳು ,ನಂಬಿಕೆಗಳ ನಡುವೆ ಇದ್ದ ಶ್ರೀಮಂತವಾದ
ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಸಂಬಂಧಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಜಾತ್ಯತೀತ ತತ್ವಗಳಿಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಹಾರ್ದತೆಗೆ ಮಸಿ ಬಳೆದಂತೆ ಆಗಿದೆ.
ಬಸವರಾಜ ಬೊಮ್ಮಾಯಿ ಅವರು ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಯಾಗಿ ಅಧಿಕಾರ ವಹಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಾಗಿನಿಂದ ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತ
ಸಮುದಾಯಗಳು ಭಯ ಮತ್ತು ಅಭದ್ರತೆಗಳಿಂದ ನರಳುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಚರ್ಚುಗಳನ್ನು ಒಡೆಯುವ ಬೆದರಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಹಿಂದುತ್ವ
ಸಂಘಟನೆಗಳು ನೇರವಾಗಿ ಹಾಕುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಮತೀಯ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಗಿರಿ ಹೆಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರ ಚಲನವಲನಗಳ
ಮೇಲೆ ಹದ್ದಿನ ಕಣ್ಣು ಇರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಅಜಾನ್‌ ಮೇಲಿನ ನಿರ್ಭಂದ ,ಮುಸ್ಲಿ೦ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಬಹಿಷ್ಕಾರ, ಹಿಜಾಬ್‌
ವಿರುದ್ಧ ನಿರ್ಭಂದ, ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ಕ್ರಮಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ಮುಸ್ಲಿ೦ ಸಮುದಾಯ ಭಯ ಮತ್ತು ಅಭದ್ರತೆಯಿ೦ದ
ನರಳುವಂತಾಗಿದೆ. ಸಮಾನತೆ, ಬಂಧುತ್ವ, ಘನತೆಯನ್ನು ಎತ್ತಿಹಿಡಿಯುವ, ಭೇದ-ಭಾವವನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪದಿರುವ
ಸಾಂವಿಧಾನಿಕ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಟ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ದಾಳಿ ಎಸುಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಹಿಂದೂತ್ವ ಗುಂಪುಗಳ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಯನ್ನು
ಗಮನಿಸಿ, ನಿಗ್ರಹಿಸುವ ಕ್ರಮ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವಲ್ಲಿ ಸರ್ಕಾರವು ವಿಫಲವಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಪರಿಸ್ಧಿಯತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜ್ಯಪಲರು
ಹೋರಡಿಸಿರುವ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸಂಪುಟದ ನಿಧಾ೯ರವು ಈ ಪುಂಡರ ಗುಂಪುಗಳಿಗೆ ಸರಕಾರದ ಬೆಂಬಲ ಇದೆ
ಎನ್ನುವುದನ್ನು ಸ್ಪಪ್ಟವಾಗಿಸಿದೆ. ಸಂವಿಧಾನದ ಅನ್ಪಯ ಕನಾ೯ಟಕದ ಮುಖ್ಸಸ್ಧರಾಗಿರುವ ರಾಜ್ಯಪಾಲರು ಮೇಲು
ನೋಟಕ್ಕೇ ಅಸಂವಿಧಾನಿಕ ಎಂದು ಕಾಣುವ (ಮತ್ತು ಮುಂದಿನ ದಿವಸಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾನೂನು ಆಗಿಬಿಡುವ) ಈ
ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊರಡಿಸಿರುವುದು ಸಂವಿಧನಕ್ಕೆ ಎಸಗಿದ ಅಪಚಾರವಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದು ಸಂವಿಧಾನವಿರೋಧಿ
ನಡೆಯಾಗಿದೆ.


ಈ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊರಡಿಸುವ ಮುನ್ನ ರಾಜ್ಯಪಾಲರು , ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರು ಮೇಲೆ ನಡೆದ ಈ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಹಲ್ಲೆ ,
ದಾಳಿಗಳನ್ನು ಗಮನಕ್ಕೆ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಪೂಣ೯ ವಿಫಲರಾಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇದು ಕಳವಳಕಾರಿಯಾದ
ಸಂಗತಿ.

ಪಿ.ಯು.ಸಿ.ಎಲ್‌ ತನ್ನ ಇತ್ತಿಚಿನ ವರದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ (CRIMINALISING THE PRACTICE OF FAITH) ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ರ
ವಿರುದ್ಧ ನಡೆದ ಈ ರೀತಿಯ 62 ನಿದಿಷ್ಟ ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ದಾಖಲಿಸಿದೆ. ಮತಾಂತರ ಎಂಬ ಭಯ ಸೃಷ್ಠಿಸಿ,
ಅದನ್ನು ಮುಂದು ಮಾಡಿ, ಕುಕೃತ್ಯ ನಡೆಸಿರುವುದನ್ನು ಈ ವರದಿ ಅನಾವರಣಗೂಳಿಸಿದೆ. ಈ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆ
ಹಿಂದೂತ್ವಪಡೆಗಳ ಕಾನೂನು ಬಾಹಿರ ಮತ್ತು ಬಲವಂತದ ಬೆದರಿಕೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಾನೂನಿನ ಮಾನ್ಯತೆ
ದೂರಕಿಸಿಕೊಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆಯಿಂದಾಗಿ, ಅಲ್ಪಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರ ಮೇಲಿನ ಹಲ್ಲೆ ದಾಳಿಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿದಂತೆ
ಕನಾ೯ಟಕ ಅಪಾಯಕಾರಿಯಾದ ಹೊಸ ಹಂತ ತಲುಪಿದಂತಾಗಿದೆ.
ಆಮಿಷ ಒಡ್ಡಿ ಮತಾ೦ತರ ಮಾಡುವುದನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ಮದುವೆ ಆಸೆ, ಭರವಸೆ ತೋರಿ
ಮತಾ೦ತರಗೊಳಿಸುವುದನ್ನು ಅಪರಾದೀಕರಣಗೊಳಿಸಿರುವುದು ಮತ್ತು ಮತಾ೦ತರದ ಸುತ್ತ ಇರುವ
ನಿಯಮ-ನಿಬ೯೦ಧಗಳು ಈ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆಯ ಹೃದಯಭಾಗ(ತಿರುಳು)ವಾಗಿದೆ. “ಕೊಡೂಗೆಗಳು,
ಕೃತಜ್ಞತೆಗಳನ್ನು ನಗದು ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡುವುದು ಅಥವಾ ಸೇವೆಗಳ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡುವುದನ್ನೂ, ಉದ್ಯೋಗ
ಹಾಗೂ ಉಚಿತ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣವನ್ನು” ಆಮಿಷಗಳ ಪಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದರಿಂದಾಗಿ, ಧರ್ಮಾತೀತವಾಗಿ
ಶಾಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ಉದ್ಯೋಗ ಕೇ೦ದ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ನಡೆಸುವುದನ್ನು ಈಗ ಸುಲಭವಾಗಿ ಮತಾ೦ತರದ
ಉದ್ದೇಶಕಾಗಿ ನಡೆಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ ಎ೦ದು ಆರೋಪಿಸಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿದೆ. ಇದರಿಂದ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ಸಂಸ್ದೆಗಳು ನಡೆಸುವ
ಎಲ್ಲ ಧಮ೯ಥ೯ದ ಚಟುವತಟಿಕೆಗಳು ಅಪರಾಧವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದು ನಮ್ಮ ಭ್ರಾತೃತ್ವದ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯ
ಮೇಲೆ, ಅದರ ವ್ಯಾಪ್ತಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಆಳವಾದ ಪರಿವಾಮ ಬೀರುತದೆ.
ಪ್ರೇಮ ವಿವಾಹಗಳನ್ನು ಅದರಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ವಿಶೇಷವಾಗಿ, ಅಂತರ ಧರ್ಮೀಯ ವಿವಾಹಗಳನ್ನು ಮದುವೆಯ
ಭರವಸೆಯೊಂದಿಗಿನ ಮತಾಂತರ ಎಂಬುದರ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಅಪರಾಧ ಎಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದು
ನಮಗೆ ಬೇಕಾದವರನ್ನು ವಿವಾಹವಾಗುವ ಮತ್ತು ನಮಗೆ ಬೇಕಾದ ಧಮ೯ವನ್ನು ಆಯ್ಕೆ ಮಾಡಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳುವ
ಸಂವಿಧಾನದತ್ತ ಹಕ್ಕನ್ನು ನಿರಾಕರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದು ಸಂವಿಧಾನದ ತಿರುಳಿನಂತಹ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯಾಗಿದೆ.
ಈ ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆಯು ಕಾನೂನು ಬಾಹಿರ ಮತಾಂತರದ ವಿರುದ್ದವಿದೆ ಎಂಬ ಮೊಗವಾಡವನ್ನೂ ಇದು ಕಳಚಿಟ್ಟಿದೆ.
ಈಗ ಮತಾಂತರ ಆಗಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಆಡಳಿತಶಾಹಿ ಪೋಲಿಸ್ ನಿರ್ಭಂಧಗಳ ವ್ಯಾಪ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.
ಈ ಸುಗ್ರಿವಾಜ್ಞೆಯ ೮ನೆಯ ನಿಯಮದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಮತಾಂತರಗೊಳ್ಳುವ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಮತಾಂತರ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ
ನಡೆಸುವ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯು ೩೦ ದಿವಸ ಮೊದಲು ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಸ್ಟ್ರೇಟ‌ರಿಗೆ ಅಜಿ೯ ನೀಡಿ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಕೊಡಬೇಕು.
೩೦ ದಿನಗಳ ಮೊದಲೇ ನೋಟೀಸ್ ಕೊಡಬೇಕು ಎಂಬ ಈ ನಿಯಮ ಹಾಗು ಇದರ ವಿವರಗಳನ್ನು
ಸಾವ೯ಜನಿಕವಾಗಿ ಪ್ರದಶಿ೯ಸುವುದು ಸಂವಿಧಾನ ನೀಡಿರುವ ಖಾಸಗೀತನದ ಹಕ್ಕಿನ ಉಲ್ಲಂಘನೆಯಾಗಿದೆ.
ಪುಟ್ಟಸ್ವಾಮಿ Vs. ಭಾರತ ಸರಕಾರ ಮೊಕದ್ದಮೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಪ್ರೀಂಕೋರ್ಟು ಇದನ್ನು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟಪಡಿಸಿದೆ.
ಧರ್ಮಾಥ೯ ದಾನಗಳು, ಅಂತರಧಮಿ೯ಯ ಪ್ರೇಮ ಮತ್ತು ವಿವಾಹ, ಧಾಮಿ೯ಕ ಹಕ್ಕು – ಇದು ಈ
ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆಯ ಅನ್ವಯ ಅಪರಾಧಗಳು. ಇದನ್ನು ಸಂವಿಧಾನವನ್ನು ನಂಬುವವರೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟಿಸಬೇಕು.

ಇಂದು, ಸಂವಿಧಾನವನ್ನು ನಂಬುವವರು, ನಮ್ಮ ಬದ್ದತೆಯನ್ನು ಗಟ್ಟಿಗೊಳಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ಮೂಲ ಭೂತ
ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಮತ್ತು ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋರಾಡುವ ನಮ್ಮ ನಿಧಾ೯ರವನ್ನು ಬಲಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ತಾರೀಕು
೨೬. ೧. ೧೯೫೦ ರಂದು ನಮಗೆ ನಾವೇ ಅಪಿ೯ಸಿಕೊಂಡ ʼಭಾರತೀಯದ ನಾವು…ʼ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯ
ಸಂವಿಧಾನದ ಹಕ್ಕು ಗಳಿಗೆ ಹೋರಾಡುವುದು ಇಂದಿನ ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಇದನ್ನು ಹೊರತುಪಡಿಸಿ ನಮಗೆ
ಬೇರಾವ ದಾರಿಯಿಲ್ಲ.

ನ್ಯಾಯವಾದಿ ಅರವಿಂದ್‌ ನಾರಾಯಣ್‌
ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು
ಪಿಯುಸಿಎಲ್‌ – ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ

ನ್ಯಾಯವಾದಿ ರಾಬಿನ್‌ ಕ್ರಿಷ್ಟೋಫರ್‌
ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಕಾರ್ಯದರ್ಶಿ
ಪಿಯುಸಿಎಲ್‌ – ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ

ಶುಜಾಯತುಲ್ಲಾಹ್
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ಪಿಯುಸಿಎಲ್‌ – ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು

PUCL CONDEMNS THE PASSING OF THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION ORDINANCE IN KARNATAKA

May 18, 2022 by · Comments Off on PUCL CONDEMNS THE PASSING OF THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION ORDINANCE IN KARNATAKA
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On the 17th May, 2022, the Governor of Karnataka in an extraordinary move, promulgated The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2022. There were no urgent circumstances necessitating the promulgation of the ordinance. The promulgation of this ordinace is a ‘fraud on the Constitution’ and makes a mockery of the theory of separation of powers which mandates that it is the legislature and not the executive who is the law making authority.


The ordinance makes grave inroads into the constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all Indians and will tarnish the secular fabric and rich cultural traditions of communal harmony that exist between faiths. Ever since the coming to power of the Basavaraj Bommai government, the minorities in the state have been reeling under a regime of fear and insecurity with Hindutva groups outrightly threatening to demolish churches, engaging in acts of vigilantism in the name of ‘moral policing’, calls to regulate azan and boycott Muslim businesses and the prohibition of the wearing of the hijab. The Karnataka Government has failed to step in and take action against these Hindutva groups who are outrightly threatening the constitutional ideals of non discrimination, equality, fraternity and dignity.

The cabinet decision to take the ordinance route, in the midst of such circumstances only shows the implicit support of the government to the vigilante elements who blatantly violate the Constitution. The Governor who is the constitutional head of the State has given the go by to the very constitution he has sworn to protect and defend by allowing this prima facie unconstitutional ordinance to become law.


PUCL is deeply distressed, that the Governor has failed to take note of the attacks on minorities before deciding to promulgate the ordinance. In its recent report titled “Criminalising the Practice of Faith”, PUCL had specifically documented sixty two hate crimes perpetrated against the Christians in Karnataka by Hindutva groups. The report exposed the modus operandi of the Hindutva groups using the bogey of conversion to attack minorities. The Governor and the Government have today legitimized the excesses of the vigilantes by promulgating an ordinance which will provide legal cover for the lawless, coercive and threatening actions of the Hindutva groups.


The passing of the ordinance means that Karnataka now enters a dangerous new phrase as far as attacks on minorities are concerned, because today these attacks are legitimized by law. The criminalization of conversion by allurement, conversion by the promise of marriage as well as the regulations around conversion are the unconstitutional heart of an unconstitutional law.

Allurement is defined very broadly to include the offer of ‘gifts or gratification in cash or kind’ as well as ‘employment or free education.’ Philanthropic activities be it the running of schools or vocational centres can easily be tarred as criminal activities being done for the purpose of conversion. This potentially criminalises all charitable activity carried out by Christian institutions with deep repercussions for the Preambular promise of fraternity.


The ordinance also targets love marriages, especially if they are across lines of religion by criminalising conversion with the ‘promise of marriage’. The criminalisation of conversion with the ‘promise of marriage’, violates a core aspect of the constitution, namely the right to marry the person of one’s choice and have the faith of one’s choice.


The ordinance finally drops the pretence that it is only concerned with illegal conversions, by going on to restrict the right to consensually convert and be converted with bureaucratic and police regulations. Under Section 8, the one who desires to convert as well as the one performing the conversion must submit a form to the District Magistrate thirty days in advance.


The requirement of notice for conversion and the public display of details of the one choosing to covert in the office of the District Magistrate is itself a violation of the constitutionally recognized right to privacy which was laid down by nine judges of the Supreme Court in Puttaswamy v Union of India.


This criminalisation of charity, love across lines of religion as well as the freedom of faith in the form of this ordinance is a blatant violation of the constitutional safeguards and must be resisted by all those who believe in the Constitution. Today, we who believe in the Constitution have no option but to stiffen our resolve and re-dedicate ourselves to the fight for the fundamental rights and freedoms which ‘We the people of India’, gave to ourselves on January 26, 1950.


Adv. Arvind Narrain, President
PUCL – Karnataka


Adv. Robin Christopher, General Secretary PUCL – Karnataka


Mr. Shujayathulla, President
PUCL – Bangalore

PUCL condemns the Karnataka Government for abdicating its Constitutional responsibility to protect the right to education of Muslim girls

February 4, 2022 by · Comments Off on PUCL condemns the Karnataka Government for abdicating its Constitutional responsibility to protect the right to education of Muslim girls
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PUCL is shocked at the continuing inaction on the part of the Karnataka Government and as well as the State Education Department failing to step in and put an end to the needless controversy at PU College in Kundapura around the right of Muslim women to attend college wearing the hijab. By their continued inaction, the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues who have taken an oath to, ‘preserve protect and defend’ the Constitution have abdicated their constitutional responsibility. It bears restating that their constitutional oath is to ensure a secular administration and ensure that their administration does not discriminate against any person on grounds of religion. It behoves the government of Karnataka to act in accordance with constitutional morality and not discriminate against a particularly vulnerable minority, namely young Muslim girls. What is seared on our collective conscience is the image of brave Muslim women asserting their right to dignity in education and the equally shocking image of a school teacher shutting the gates of the college to its own students. The government must take responsibility and act to salvage its tattered image, which in the eyes of the world is that of a schoolyard bully, which stands by and denies girls the right to education rather than protecting and defending their constitutional rights.

The PUCL had in an earlier statement regarding a similar ban action by a Government PU College in Udupi, criticised the arbitrary action by the college authorities as violating fundamental constitutional rights, including the Right to Freedom of Religion (Art 25), the Right to Education (Art 21-A), Right to non-discrimination(Art 15 and Art 29(2)) and the right to dignity. (Article 21)


Even in this case, the same constitutional rights stand violated. The specific action of the PU College management stopping the girl students from entering the classrooms and college violates the right of Muslim girls to access learning without discrimination. Article 15(1) prohibits non-discrimination on the grounds of religion and sex. Article 29(2) specifically prohibits discrimination in state aided educational institutions on grounds of religion. The preventing of women in hijab from accessing education is at heart a discrimination based on religion. As interpreted by the Supreme Court, Article 21 guarantees the right to live with dignity. The prohibition of the use of the hijab violates the right to dignity of the Muslim women students as the dress is an intrinsic part of the expression of their identity as Muslim women. Article 21-A guarantees the right to education, and this prohibition of Muslim women from attending classes violates the right to education. Most importantly, Article 25 gives the freedom to practice, propagate and profess religion, and it is pertinent to note that the hijab is an essential aspect of the Islamic faith. The prohibition of wearing the hijab hits the constitutional guarantee under Article 25.

The other dimension that the women students themselves have exposed is the arbitrary nature of the action by college authorities. The students are reported to say, “We are students, we have been wearing the hijab to college for so long, but it has become an issue only now.” The fact that the hijab has suddenly become an issue only hints at the malafide and unconstitutional nature of the action, obviously undertaken under political pressures the school management was subjected to. The students have a legitimate expectation that they will be allowed to access education without discrimination and not be suddenly and arbitrarily prevented from attending classes that too just two months before the examination. This expectation has been belied.


The PUCL strongly condemns the college authorities’ cruel, heartless, arbitrary and unconstitutional action.

The PUCL demands that:

  • The Chief Minister must act quickly and decisively to rescind the decision of the two colleges and allow the students to attend classes as they were doing before a highly improper and unconstitutional action of preventing girl students from accessing education was undertaken.
  • An inquiry be undertaken into why the principals of the said colleges took such a sudden, arbitrary and unconstitutional action. Until the investigation is concluded, they must be placed under suspension.
  • The Karnataka Government must take adequate measures to strengthen a secular and non discriminatory learning environment within colleges, allowing students to express their faith and identity fully and ensure that such shocking violations do not recur.
  • The Human Rights Commission and Minority commission register suo moto complaints against the principal and management of the college for violating fundamental rights of the concerned students.
  • The Legal Services Authority must intervene in this matter and provide all legal assistance to the students to protect their constitutional rights

Adv. Arvind Narrain, President, PUCL-K

Adv. Robin Christopher, General Secretary, PUCL-K

PUCL Statement: Oppose Dilution of Labour Laws!!

May 22, 2020 by · Comments Off on PUCL Statement: Oppose Dilution of Labour Laws!!
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PUCL Statement: Oppose Dilution of Labour Laws!!
Labour Laws Necessary to Protect Fundamental Rights of Workers

PUCL is deeply concerned at the swiftness with which many states in the nation are dismantling the protection afforded to workers under their various labour laws. These laws provide many of the basic guarantees to workers – ensuring that employees get paid decent wages on time, have reasonable working hours, and are not subject to discrimination. They require employers to provide basic necessities such as drinking water and clean toilets to workers, and protect them from accidents and occupational hazards and diseases. Labour laws are essential for ensuring fundamental rights for our workers – rights which are guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to all Indian citizens, at all times. PUCL believes that withdrawing these protections from the working population in an effort to entice new businesses, is an unconstitutional, immoral and unethical attempt to revive an economy at the expense of its weakest citizens.PUCL is deeply concerned at the swiftness with which many states in the nation are dismantling the protection afforded to workers under their various labour laws. These laws provide many of the basic guarantees to workers – ensuring that employees get paid decent wages on time, have reasonable working hours, and are not subject to discrimination. They require employers to provide basic necessities such as drinking water and clean toilets to workers, and protect them from accidents and occupational hazards and diseases. Labour laws are essential for ensuring fundamental rights for our workers – rights which are guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to all Indian citizens, at all times. PUCL believes that withdrawing these protections from the working population in an effort to entice new businesses, is an unconstitutional, immoral and unethical attempt to revive an economy at the expense of its weakest citizens.

Better Enforcement of Labour Laws Required, Not their Dilution
The country is currently witnessing a massive human tragedy as lakhs of migrant workers found themselves stranded during the lockdown, without any means of getting food or work. Much of this could have been averted had the laws on migrant workers been properly implemented, and all of them been duly documented. Many of these workers have not been paid for months. Again, had the laws relating to timely payment of wages been enforced, many of these workers would not have been forced to take desperate measures like walking thousands of kilometers back to their homes.
As the country is slowly emerging from the lockdown, the working citizens of this country are at their most vulnerable, facing threats of mass layoffs and firings with depleted reserves of cash and food. This is the time when they most need the protection of labour laws to ensure that they are not unduly exploited. PUCL is alarmed by the ordinances cleared by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat cabinets, which would indiscriminately suspend all labour laws except a few basic ones, for close to three years. Notifications by the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana have also suspended crucial portions of their labour legislations. We fear that these moves would force a large proportion of our population to inhuman servitude and destitution, and condemn them in no uncertain terms.

Labour Laws ensure basic living conditions for a large section of the population

Remuneration for Work
Employers are mandated by law to pay workers no less than the minimum wages in a timely manner, and also supplement the incomes of their low wage employees with yearly bonuses drawn from their profits. In addition, laws on gratuity ensure that at the end of employment, due to retirement, death or disablement, the employees or their families are compensated for the length of their service. Workers covered by Employee State Insurance are entitled to half of their monthly wages as unemployment benefits for a maximum of two years, and the Employees Provident Fund allows them access to a small fund at retirement, or during an emergency.
We would like to point out that in actuality only a small proportion of all workers are enrolled in ESI and EPF, even in industry notified under EPF. For example in the brick-kiln industry it is estimated that anywhere from 5-8 million workers do not get this benefit. Similar is the situation in relation to Gratuity and Bonus. The demand should be make these protections universal; instead these provisions are being suspended even for existing workers.
Most of the currently proposed labour law amendments guarantee only the minimum wages, and have suspended all other benefits. We note that Punjab has also rolled back its latest increase in minimum wage and other states may soon follow. UP and Gujarat propose to suspend gratuity, bonus, provident fund, and all other benefits, which are crucial to sustain the workers at this time. PUCL strongly opposes the move of these various governments to deprive workers of the protection of existing labour laws.

Working Hours
Factories Act mandates that working hours should be limited to 9 hours in one day, with a maximum of 48 hours per week. Any additional hours of work have to be compensated as overtime wages at twice the ordinary rate. A large number of states including Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have extended the workday to 12 hours per day, for the next 3 months, with no increase in the number of rest intervals. A majority of these states have also extended the workweek from 48 hours to a grueling 72 hours. PUCL is distressed to note that the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have exempted their industries from having to pay overtime wages for these extended work hours.
Extension of working hours also goes against the stated aim of these labour law amendments to increase overall employment, because they effectively incentivize the employers to employ fewer workers than required, and compel them to work for longer hours.
It should be recalled that the demand for limiting the working hours to 8-hours a day and 48 hours in a week originated during the Industrial Revolution in order to protect the workers’ health and safety by providing them with adequate amounts of rest and recuperation. Considering that the right to shorter working hours was the subject of the very first Convention of ILO ‘International Labour Standard (C001)’ adopted by the ILO and ratified by India, PUCL is alarmed to see the clock turn back more than 100 years of workers’ struggle. It is especially against the very requirement of health and immunity following Covid19; this is because simultaneous with the 12- hour work day, the rest time for the worker will now be available not after the first 4 hours, but after 6 hours of continuous work. This will have an adverse impact on health and emotional state of the workers. Also given the high increasing rate of unemployment, this will further limit the employment opportunities. The hours work should be reduced to six.

Health, Safety and Welfare of workers
Factories Act, Mines Act and Dockworkers Act are some of the labour laws that enjoin employers to protect the health and wellbeing of their workers. These laws provide for clean, ventilated and adequately lit working spaces with drinking water, and toilets. An employer is also expected to provide first aid facilities, sitting spaces and creches. These laws also mandate inspections for safety and health, safe disposal of hazardous materials, notifications of industrial accidents and occupational diseases.
As a pandemic rages in our country, and with a living memory of the Bhopal Gas Disaster and the recent Styrene gas leak causing death of 11 people and serious injuries to over 200 people in the LG Polymers India plant in Vishakapatnam on 7th May, 2020, it is obvious that these measures not only secure the health and safety of industrial workers, but also of entire communities.
PUCL is disappointed to note that Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have stripped or suspended these laws at a time, when it is in the greater public interest to implement them with great vigour.

Grievance redressal machinery and the right to Collective Bargaining
The central Industrial Disputes Act and the state Industrial Relations Acts primarily protect workers from uncompensated lay-offs and retrenchments, unreasonable changes in their working conditions, unfair labour practices etc. They allow for a system of labour courts, industrial tribunals and arbitration boards where the workers can raise an industrial dispute relating to wages, working hours, conditions of work etc, and get their grievances redressed. The Trade Unions Act recognizes associations of workers to act as their representatives and enter into collective agreements with the employers.
In view of the announcements by several states of the suspension of these acts, PUCL points out that the institutions established by these acts are critical for the smooth functioning of the industry, and provide a mechanism for social dialogue between the workers and employers. This machinery is essential for ironing out the tensions between the labour and the management, without having to take recourse to the lengthy and expensive litigation, or acrimonious strikes and lock-outs.
The suspension of these crucial laws violates the basic provision of labour law of tripartite mechanism. We must remember that the highest level labour related bodies at National (Indian Labour Conference) and International (International Labour Organisation) level are tripartite in nature. This is no way can be compromised.

Worker Welfare
In addition to these, there are many other labour laws which afforded some protection to the most vulnerable category of workers, such as pregnant women, migrant workers, contract workers, manual scavengers, and those working in the beedi industry, in mines and in the unorganized sector, who are now also left open to exploitation by industry owners.

Diluting labour laws will not attract additional investment

The justification given by various governments that existing labour laws are a deterrence to investment by industry, and by extension, to the prosperity of the state, needs to be examined more critically. The notion that stringent labour laws are the primary impediments to investments in states is highly debatable – manufacturing industries depend on a complex set of factors such as reliability of infrastructure, access to credit, availability of skilled workers, good governance and freedom from corruption.

Several studies have shown that strong labour market institutions and social welfare legislation are necessary to reduce inequalities and encourage inclusive growth (1), and that high levels of inequality can retard growth in developing economies (2). Even the UN Trade and Development Report, 2019, warns governments against ‚promoting cuts to labour costs‛ as their ‚adjustment strategy of choice‛ when faced with economic downturns. Instead, the report encourages governments to adopt progressive fiscal arrangements, and expanded social insurance, among other measures for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (3). An increase in the average wage of the worker will drive domestic demand, fueling growth in the economy.
Suspension of Labour Laws is Unconstitutional & violates International Covenants
The new industry regime ushered in by these changes, where employers can pay rock-bottom wages, hire and fire workers at will, coerce them into working long hours each day, and prevent them from unionizing, goes against the very grain of our constitution, and is also in violation of many international conventions. Such precarious working conditions are clearly violative of Article 21, the fundamental right of workers to live with dignity, as held by J Bhagwati in the `People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India’ (1982) (4) case.
The Supreme Court has held that Article 21 also encompasses the ‚protection of health and strength of workers and just and humane conditions of work. (5)
The rights of workers to non-discrimination, a living wage, safe and humane working conditions, and a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities, is also enshrined in our Constitution through Directive Principles of State Policy (6).


The right to form trade unions and engage in collective bargaining is protected by Article 19(1)(c), which guarantees all citizens the right to form associations or unions for a lawful purpose. It is also a fundamental human right recognized by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, 1948, enabling the effective participation of workers in economic and social policy.

PUCL strongly objects to the dilution of labour laws, the bulwarks of our legislative edifice against exploitative and extractive labour practices, as a strategy to kick-start economy. We demand that the President send back the UP and Gujarat state ordinances to the respective states. We further demand that the states of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh revoke their notifications amending the Factory Act, Industrial Disputes Act and related acts. Vast sections of our working population are better served by a caring government that watches out for their rights as workers, assuring them secure jobs which meet their basic needs, rather than one that merely treats them as fodder for the ruthless engine of industry.

PUCL wishes to emphasise that the purpose for India’s industrialization and development cannot be to ensure profit for international companies, at the cost of the dignity, well-being and liberty of India’s working class people. The aim of India’s development must be for creation of sustainable growth with high levels of employment for the working age population and good quality of living for all people living in India. What is required is universal application of laws with adequate provisions of effective enforcement, transparency and monitoring, within tripartite frame.

PUCL gives a call to all concerned citizens of India to rise up as one to oppose the dilution of labour law changes proposed by the Governments of UP, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

On Behalf of PUCL:

Shalini Gera, Kavita Srivastava, Mihir Desai, Sanjay Parikh, ND Pancholi, D. Nagasaila, Rohit Prajapati, Seema Azad , R. Murali, YJ Rajendra, Lara Jesani, Arjun Sheoran, Ravikiran Jain, V. Suresh.

Mr. Ravi Kiran Jain,
President, PUCL

Dr. V. Suresh,
Gen. Secy, PUCL

1 Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality – Building Just Societies in the 21st Century, edited by Janine Berg, ILO, 2015
2 Inequality, Growth, and Investment, Robert J. Barro, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Paper No. 7038, Issued in March 1999
3 Trade and Development Report 2019: Financing a Global Green New Deal, United National Conference on Trade and Development
4 AIR 1982 SC 1473
5 Occupation Health and Safety Association of India v Union of India (2014) 3 SCC 547
6 Articles 39, 42 and 43

COVID Lockdown | A writ Petition by PUCL and High Court Orders

April 15, 2020 by · Comments Off on COVID Lockdown | A writ Petition by PUCL and High Court Orders
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Documents related to PUCL’s writ petition in the High Court of Karnataka pertaining to the COVID 19 Lockdown

Letter from PUCL-K to the CJ of Karnataka is here

Order dated 26 March is here

Order dated 30 March is here

Order dated 3 April is here

Order dated 7 April is here

Order dated 9 April is here

Order dated 13 April is here

Press Release | Status of implementation of the food security schemes and old-age pension scheme in Karnataka

April 15, 2020 by · Comments Off on Press Release | Status of implementation of the food security schemes and old-age pension scheme in Karnataka
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PRESS RELEASE | BANGALORE, 12 April , 2020

  • PUCL feedback report on the status of implementation of the food security shemes and old age pension scheme in Karnataka shows several gaps
  • Government needs to address these gaps immediately , else issue of malnutrition will become worse

This to bring to the kind notice media with reference to the Writ Petition No. 6435 of 2020 (PIL) and Connected Petitions, the Hon’ble Court had directed the PUCL to get feedback from its volunteers about the implementation of what is stated in Clauses (i) and (ii) of para 20 of the compliance submission filed by the State Government, which pertain to ensuring provision of nutritious food to children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers, and the implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013. Food security for children, pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls derives from Article 21 as also specifically from sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 24, 30 and 32 of the National Food Security Act, 2013. A consolidated report on the above is attached to this mail for your kind information.

As per the directions of this Hon’ble Court, PUCL has requested its members as also other civil society organisations to assist in this task, consequence of which a rapid assessment seeking details of provision of entitlements covering 3 fields broadly – by Anganwadi centres, through the mid day meal scheme and through the Public Distribution System has been collected from 80 villages and cities across 20 districts, which is attached as Annexure – 1 for your information

Also the PUCL requested AIKYATHA, which spearheads a campaign for dignity to senior citizens to ascertain whether the senior citizens who are beneficiaries of one of the social security pensions have actually received the same. A copy of brief report prepared by them is also attached as Annexure – 2 for your kind information.

The report highlights gaps in the delivery of the schemes such as Anganwadis, Mid-day Meals, PDS system and senior citizen pensions.
While the food schemes themselves are functional and most people have received some sort of ration , it is not complete and importantly it will not last till the end of any extyended lockdown. Worrying children whoa re malnourished have not got the additional nutrition they need. Karnataka’s children already face a huge malnutrition problem. It may become worse because of the lockdown.

PUCL urge the government take appropriate action to ensure that all the beneficiaries get the full amount of food they are entitled too is required. Else, the health of the poor and marginalised will be severely affected.

Anganwadis
1. Children between 0- 6 years – Of the 80 villages/localities, anganwadi centres in 10 areas have not yet provided rations for children between the ages of 0-6 years. In the remaining, some ration ahs been provided but not the full qyanityt. The mandatory egg and milk has not been provided. Worryingly None of the respondents have found any attention being given the additional nutritional and health needs of children who have been identified as malnourished, which is a glaring omission

2. Pregnant women and lactating mothers – Some amount of ration is being provided in 75% of the surveyed areas only. Even with the 75%, they are not receiving the full amount

3. Adolescent girls – Shockingly, Only 13.75% of respondents stated that this was being provided. Shockingly, a large number of respondents said that adolescent girls had not received rations from anganwadi centres for quite a while

Public Distribution System
The PDS shops are distributing extra rice and wheat as thje government had announced, but there are several issues, such as –
Only rice and wheat is being distributed and no Dal, even though the central government announced that Dal would be distributed.
Access Issues remain : 10 of the respondents stated that shops are not ope, 5 respondents stated that shops were open but not providing ration ; Ration shop owners insisted on aaadhaar and OTP verification even though government said it is not mandatory ; Ration Shop owners force people to buy other times that they sell too

Mid-day meals
Delivery of rations to students under the mid-day meal scheme appeared to be more operational, with only 9 of the 80 surveyed areas reporting that rations through mid day meal schemes were not provided. The rations appear to have been given on various dates from mid-March onwards, with varying amounts of rations (with a rice base of between 1 – 3 kg) being provided.

Senior Citizens Pensions
This rapid survey has found that senior citizens are facing immense difficulties. Most Senior Citizens, who are dependent on pensions, do not have phones and, even prior to the lockdown had to make repeated trips to the Post Office/Banks to inquire if their pensions was deposited. The current crisis caused by Covid19 and the lockdown, has aggravated their situation unimaginably. They are the most vulnerable to Covid-19 due to their age and many pre-existing health conditions. Thus their movement is restricted, and their children or grandchildren too find it difficult to the bank/post offices repeatedly to verify their account due to movement restrictions. Importantly, the survey reveals that most have received pensions only for the month of January and February 2020 and are not sure whether the pension for March is deposited.
The copy of the momo submitted to High Court along with Annexures attached for your kind information.

Therefore, PUCL request you to cover the news in your esteemed newspaper.

Your Sincerely,
Prof. Y J Rajendra
President, PUCL –Karnataka
9449011530

Annexure:

Annexure – 1 AWC-MDM Survey Data conducted by PUCL (1)

Annexure – 2 Old Age Pensions Memo report on Supply of rations and senior citizens submitted to HC K

Press _Release_2020_Covid_schemes

Memo report on Supply of rations and senior citizens submitted to HC K

Fact-Finding Report | Extra-judicial killings of 4 suspected Maoists at Attapaddi, Kerala

December 14, 2019 by · Comments Off on Fact-Finding Report | Extra-judicial killings of 4 suspected Maoists at Attapaddi, Kerala
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Read the full fact-finding report here

On 28th October 2019 and 29th October 2019 at the forest areas at Attapaddi, Palakkad district, the Thunderbolt which is the special wing of the Kerala police “encountered” four persons who they have termed as belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

As per the police, 3 persons were killed on 28th October during cross-firing, and one person was killed on 29th October 2019 at the same spot. The Government has claimed that they have been shot in cross-firing.

Read the full fact-finding report here

| Preliminary Report | Impact of Demonetization on Casual Labour at the Chowktis of Jaipur

December 31, 2016 by · Comments Off on | Preliminary Report | Impact of Demonetization on Casual Labour at the Chowktis of Jaipur
Filed under: Human Rights, Report, Reports From Other Organizations!, Uncategorized, Urban Poverty 

Read the full report HERE

Preliminary Report of the Survey ~ Conducted by PUCL Interns & supervised by PUCL and BGVS members

Though there are several general statements available suggesting that the maximum impact of the note withdrawal scheme has been this segment of daily wage earners, however no systematic assessment is available. Accordingly we decided to undertake a quick assessment survey of the impact of the demonetization on the casual labour in an urban setting covering daily wage earners who assemble at various Chowktis (labour markets where wage-work seekers assemble in the morning) in the city of Jaipur.

The broad purpose of the rapid survey was to understand (a) the impact of demonetization on work, wages, incomes, access to food, relations, (b) banking practices and (c) awareness about demonetization scheme and of black money among casual labourers who reach local labour markers to seek wage labour work.

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