PUCL Karnataka Towards civil liberties and human rights for all in Karnataka


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People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) is a collective of individuals who are working towards highlighting and correcting violations of human rights and civil liberties in India especially the rights of weaker sections and marginalized communities.

The Karnataka Chapter of PUCL (PUCL-K) has dealt with a wide range of issues in the last two decades. In the late eighties and early 90s PUCL-K worked largely on issues of communal violence and polarisation. In the past few years our work has been more diverse.

Overview of recent work in Karnataka

  • Institutionalised caste prejudices in the police system were highlighted in a report that looked into police violence in Tarfail slum in Gulbarga. The report raises critical questions around urban poverty and caste bias of the state.
  • Hosted a seminar to highlight issues related to urban poverty and caste and how policies of the state and central government are only deepening the disparity divide.
  • PUCL-K co-hosted a seminar on the Unique Identity Scheme. The event was meant to catalyze debate and discussion on the Unique Identity Authority of India and their claims and issues related to privacy and identity.
  • PUCL-K has been working with diverse stake-holders on issues related to Urban Poverty. We engage with NGOs, Government organizations and grassroots collectives to increase awareness about urban poverty through the window of individual and collective rights.
  • We have engaged with Commercial Sex Workers on addressing civil liberties violations and police harassment.
  • In the campaign against section 377 of the Criminal Procedure Code, we worked closely with groups dealing in issues that were relevant to sexual minorities. We continue to work with these groups to address civil liberties violations of sexual minorities.
  • Helped create a court-mandated committee that seeks to address the pay, working conditions and occupational health and safety issues of sanitary workers.
  • Based on a fact-finding visit, PUCL-K has published a booklet on Cultural Policing in Mangalore and Dakshin Kannada.
  • PUCL-K has supported groups that are working on the Civil Nuclear Liability issue to highlight the hazards of Nuclear Technology and issues related to accountability of the state in the event of industrial disaster.

Major Areas of Work

  • Mobilising public opinion in favour of a better climate for protection of civil liberties in the country
  • Conducting investigations into into incidents of violation of human rights brought to notice by victims, the press, a member, or any concerned individual.
  • Publishing the finding of these investigations in the PUCL Bulleting and releasing them to the press, or making them public by other means such as public meetings, seminars and conferences.
  • Filing petitions on the basis of these investigation, or even otherwise
  • PUCL-K is engaged in a wide range of issues including issues related to police atrocities, communal violence, tribal rights, oppression of Dalits, gender issues, sexuality and sexual minorities, child rights, corruption, urban poverty, unorganised workers and judicial mal-practices.
  • For more detailed information please do read the Constitution of the PUCL

Organisational Structure

  • PUCL is an autonomous organisation not affiliated to any political party or organisation. PUCL is a voluntary organisation. Whatever funding exists is through membership fees. All activity is member-funded.
  • PUCL has a three-tier structure. The base is the general body known as the National Convention. Then there is the National Council and it’s Executive. Election of the office bearers in the National Council are held according to the provisions of the Constitution of PUCL.
  • The National PUCL establishes the State branches. The structure of State branch follows the pattern at the national level. The state branch and it’s office bearers organise and co-ordinate the working of the organisation in the State concerned.
  • The State branches in-turn are responsible for creating local branches across the state. These branches are critical to PUCL. Members and office bearers of the local branch are in the best position to make direct interventions.
  • PUCL members meet on a regular basis to discuss issues that they are working on and progress on specific tasks. Responsibility for and within a campaign is entirely voluntary.

PUCL Membership and Fees

Any person who subscribes to the aims and objects of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and agrees to abide by it’s constitution can enrol as member of PUCL.

  • Patron: Rs. 2000
  • Life:      Rs. 1000
  • Annual: Rs. 50

Donations welcome!

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