We write this to express our extreme dismay, and disappointment on the audacious raids carried out by the CBI on 11 July 2019 at the Delhi and Mumbai offices and residences of Anand Grover and Indira Jaising. We see this as yet another attempt at trying to muzzle civil society voices in India. We see this as an assault on democracy and democratic values.
As has been stated by the Lawyers Collective in their public statement, the CBI’s actions are illegal, mala fide and a blatant abuse of law.
Rather than through high-handed raids, the evidence of the selfless and relentless work of the Lawyers Collective can be found in the lives of lakhs of people who have benefited from their legal advice and support. Their doors have always been open for the weakest and the most marginalised, those who had nowhere else to go, to those who were shunned and silenced and to those who needed refuge and hope in the judicial process.
The HIV response in India stands out for its excellence in no small measure due to the selfless contributions of all at the Lawyers Collective. Each of undersigned are witness to the enormous contributions of the Lawyers Collective since the mid-1990’s, standing shoulder to shoulder with the most marginalized among us when no one else would care.
Each of us have benefited, individually and collectively, from the impact of the work done by Lawyers Collective – the process of justice and its hard won fruits have reinstated our faith in the Indian Judiciary and the Constitution of India.
If the whole world acknowledges the strides India has made in articulating the law on HIV/AIDS (2017) it is because the Lawyers Collective found the resources and invested its expertise and its heart in trying to protect the rights of people living with HIV.
If women in India today can walk into a police station and seek protection under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, it is because the Lawyers Collective rose to marshal every legal instrument to draft and monitor the implementation of this law.
The legal battle against section 377, IPC that criminalised same-sex relations as well as the recognition of transgender identity and rights was started by the Lawyers Collective at a time when no one wanted to talk about the issue, when neither courts nor lawyers had the resources to understand and battle the nuances of discrimination against sexual minorities.
Lawyers Collective took on unpopular and challenging issues affecting marginalised groups, more recently, in drafting changes to ensure access to harm reduction services and essential narcotic drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic (Amendment) Act, 2014
Every patient today who avails of life saving drugs has Lawyers Collective to thank for securing affordable medicines by preserving public health safeguards under section 3(d) the Patents Act, 1970.
We are deeply concerned that by targeting Lawyers Collective and its founding trustees – Ms. Indira Jaising and Mr. Anand Grover, a chilling message is being sent to civil society to toe the line and curb dissent.
We stand with the Lawyers Collective, Ms. Indira Jaising and Mr Anand Grover and urge them to stay undeterred and continue to respond based on their Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.
We demand an immediate stop to this deliberate and illegal harassment of Lawyer's Collective. Civil Society stands firmly in their support and will take all necessary action to resist and challenge this arbitrary action by the Government of India.
1. A.Jayavathana , Hiv ullor nala sangam, Nagapattinam 2. Aaron Sunday, African Network of Adolescents and Young Persons Development, Abuja, Nigeria 3. Aarti, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 4. ABHIJIT GHOSH, KOMAL GANDHAR, KOLKATA 5. Abhijit Kumar Das, Mito Trust, Baripada 6. Abou Mere, NNagaDAO, Kohima Nagaland 7. Akash Panigrahi, Mito Trust, Baripada 8. Altaf Shaikh, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 9. Ambika savitry, Bangalore 10. Amit Kumar, Social Worker, NEW DELHI 11. Amita, New delhi 12. Amrita, Chennai 13. Anand chandrani, Sarathi Trust, Nagpur 14. Anandi Yuvaraj, COIMBATORE 15. Anita David, Indian Drug Users Forum, Delhi 16. Anita Rego, Pearlss 4 Development, Hyderabad 17. Anjali Gopalan, The Naz Foundation (India)Trust, New Delhi 18. Ankur Patil, foramfoundation, Vadodara 19. Annamma George, Chennai 20. Anu Aaron, SIAAP, CHENNAI 21. Anushree Mishra, Gurgaon 22. Archana, Raipur 23. Aryika Dadhwal, Delhi 24. Asha Patel, NMP+, Mahesana 25. Ashish Kumar, Advocate, Delhi 26. Ashok Rau, Freedom Foundation, Begaluru 27. Ashok Row Kavi, Humsafar Trust, Mumbai 28. Ashok Swain, Uppsala University, Uppsala 29. Asim Mura, Amlasole Birsha Munda Gram Unnyan Samiti, West Bengal 30. Baby Naskar, Durbar Disha, Kolkata 31. Bharat Bhushan , New Delhi 32. BHARATI DEY, DURBAR MAHILA SAMANWAYA COMMITTEE, KOLKATA 33. Bharti Ali, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi 34. Biswajit Majumder, Social Worker, South Kolkata 35. Bka, MDUF, Aizawl 36. Blessina Kumar, New Delhi 37. BOTHUMANI, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SANGAM, TAMIL NADU 38. Caro, Socios en Salud, Peru 39. Carolina Moran, Socios en Salud Sucursal, Peru 40. Champa, Durgapur Durbar Samiti, Durgarpur 41. Chandana Khan, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 42. Chandni Shaikh, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, Mumbai 43. Chaya Das, Domjur Durbar Samiti, Kolkata 44. Chayanika Shah, LABIA - A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai
45. Chirag Soni, Foram Foundation, Vadodara 46. Chitra, siaap, chennai 47. D Daisy, Tamil Nadu networking for people living with HIV/ AIDS, Chennai 48. Daxa Patel, NCPI+, Delhi 49. Deebjot Singh Sahney, Kripa Foundation , Guwahati 50. Deep Soni, ForamFoundation, Vadodara 51. Devi, Pwn+, Chennai 52. Devi, Triveni Samaj Vkas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 53. Dipika Patel, Sakhi Jyot Sangathan, Ahmadabad, Gujarat 54. Dr Smarajit Jana, Kolkatta 55. Dr. Kimberly Walters, California State University, Long Beach 56. Dr. S. Sundararaman, Chennai 57. Dr. Stellah Bosire, Nairobi, Kenya 58. Dr.tokugha yepthomi, Medical consultant infectious Diseases, DIMAPUR NAGALAND . 59. Eldred Tellis, Sankalp Foundation, Mumbai 60. Francis Joseph, ANPUD Bangkok, Thailand 61. Ganesh Acharya, TB survivor and HIV positive Mumbai 62. Gautam Yadav, New Delhi, India 63. GEETA, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SANGAM, TAMIL NADU 64. Geeta Dutta, Sakhi Sangathan, Odisha 65. Geetanjali Amalrani , Namakal Mavata Sabaermathi Pengal Mampatu Sangam, Tamilnadu 66. Gita Devi , Purulia Nachni Unnyan Samiti, Purulia, West Bengal 67. Gita Dey, Society for Human Development for Social Action, Kolkata 68. Global TB Community Advisory Board (TB CAB) 69. Gowtham, Chennai 70. Gunasekar, Chennai 71. Hajra Arif, Sahyog Mahila Mandal, Surat 72. Heather Ferreira, Mumbai 73. HepCoN, Kohima 74. Indian Drug users’ Forum, Kohima 75. Imti, Dimapur 76. Jagdish Patel, RDNP+, Rajkot 77. Jamshir Bagwadia, Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, Mumbai 78. JAYA, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SANGAM, TAMIL NADU 79. Jérôme Martin, Saint-Denis, France 80. Jigna Patel, JDNP+, Amreli 81. Jimmy LMS Tluanga, MDUF, Aizawl 82. Jitendra Ramprakash, Delhi 83. Jonathan Stillo, Detroit, MI USA 84. Jonisha Scohd society, Pondicherry 85. Jyoti Raut, Parivartan Foundation, Ahmedabad 86. Jyotsana , Jamnagar Network, Jamnagar 87. Jyotsna Rai, Seoraphuli Durbar Samiti, Kolkata 88. K Savitha, Namakkal, Tamilnadu 89. k.sheethal, scohd society, pondicherry 90. KAJAL BOSE, DURBAR MAHILA SAMANWAYA COMMITTEE, KOLKATA 91. Kalpanaben Gayakwad, Ekta Sangathan, Vadodara 92. Kamlesh umaji kasbale, MUMBAI aids forum, Mumbai 93. Kanchana, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 94. Kartik Gore, Foram Foundation, Vadodara 95. Kashibai Jadhav, Kranti Mahila Sangh, Solapur 96. Kaukab, Mumbai
97. Kavita Mangnani, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Delhi 98. Ketho, HepCoN, Kohima 99. Ketho Angami, ARK Foundation, Kohima 100. Khairunisa Suleiman, Geneva 101. Khusboo, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 102. KK Abraham, INP +, Chennai. 103. Kohima users network 104. KOKILA, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SANGAM, TAMIL NADU 105. Krishna Gurramkonda, Suraksha Society, Hyderabad 106. Kumar Shailabh, Delhi 107. Kundan Tailor, Foram Foundation, Vadodara 108. Kusum, All India Network of Sex Workers, NEW DELHI 109. L Ramakrishnan, Chennai 110. Lalduhawma Chawngthu, Mizoram Drug Users Forum, Aizawl 111. Lata Kapse, DMBS, Nasik 112. Limhathung Ezung, IDUF, Dimapur 113. Lindsay McKenna, Treatment Action Group, New York, United States 114. Liyi, Advocate, Delhi 115. Lokesh Mura, Birsha Munnda Gram Unnyan Committee, West Bengal 116. Loon Gangte, Delhi Network of Positive People, Delhi 117. M Annakili, Women Right Activists, Tamilnadu 118. Madhu Sharma, New Delhi 119. Madhurima Sen bose, New Delhi 120. Mahasweta Mukherjee, Women Right Activist, Howrah 121. Maksoom Ali, Pahal Foundation, Faridabad 122. Mamta, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 123. Manas, Thane 124. Manjula R, Ashodaya Samithi, Mysore 125. MANOJ PARDESHI, National Coalition of PLHIV in India, DELHI 126. Mansi Tripathi, Aarju Foundation, Mumbai 127. Maya Ghosh, Kalna Durbar Samiti 128. MEENA, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SAGAM TAMIL NADU 129. Meenakshi, covai district hiv ullore nala sangam coimbatore 130. MEERA RAGHAVENDRA, WINS, TIRUPATI 131. Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) Hyderabad 132. Meghna , Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 133. Mike Frick, Treatment Action Group, New York 134. Minatti Dey, Binodini Sramik Union, Kolkata 135. Miss. Nini Pakma, Meghalaya Drugs Users Network, jaintia hills district 136. Mona Mishra, Delhi 137. Morgane Ahmar, CASABLANCA 138. Moses Zofaka Pachuau, Mizoram HCV Response Team, Aizawl 139. Mr jagnesh Patel, NDNP+ Navasari 140. Nadiya Uvtukuri, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 141. Nagaraju valaparla, South India drug users forum, Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh 142. Najma, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 143. Nandini Thapa, Delhi 144. Nani, Chennai 34 Nugambakkam 145. Naresh Soni, BanasNP+ Banasakantha, Palanpur 146. Neeta Kavaiya, BNP+, Bhavnagar 147. Neetu Kumar, Parivartan Trust CBO, New Delhi 148. Nisha Chouhan, Saksham Mahila Samiti, Jaipur
149. Nisha Gulur, Sankalp livelihood society, Kolar 150. Nitin Patel, foram Foundation, Vadodara 151. Nukshinaro, Nagaland Users Network, Dimapur 152. Nyangpong Yin, Mon User's Network, Mon 153. Om Gujjar, Foram Foundation, Vadodara 154. Othoman Mellouk, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, Marrakech 155. P Pushpalata, ERODE MAVATTA PENGAL SUYASAKTHI SANGAM, Erode, Tamilnadu 156. P. DEVI, Me and my world, Guntur 157. P.SIVA, Vidhunagar District HIV Ullor Nala Sangam, Virudhunagar 158. Padma, Asansole Durbar Samiti, Asansole 159. Pallav Patankar, Mumbai 160. pardeep kumar, IDUF, hoshiarpur 161. Paresh Patel, VDNP+, Valsad 162. Partha Sen, kolkata 163. Pepe, Nagaland Users' Network, Kohima 164. Pintu Maity, South Kolkata 165. Prabha Kotiswaran, Bangalore 166. Prabha Mahesh, Touched by TB, Delhi 167. Prashant Sharma, Sikkim Drug Users’ Forum, Gangtok 168. Pratima Kumari, Mrignayani Seva Sansthan, Ranchi 169. Prem, Manmilan Bahu Udesiya Samajik Sanstha, Nasik 170. Protim Ray, Sonagachi Research and Training Institute, Kolkata 171. Pushpa Sindoor, Ananthpur, AP 172. Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore 173. PUTUL HALDER, DURBAR MAHILA SAMANWAYA COMMITTEE, KOLKATA 174. Putul Singh, Sramajibi Mahila Sangha, Howrah 175. RABI GHOSH, AMRA PADATIK KOLKATA 176. Rajalakshmi RamPrakash, Chennai 177. RAJAT KANTI SUR, DMSC, Kolkata 178. Rajkumar Das, Balaram Dey Street Anandam, Kolkata 179. RAMA DEBNATH, SOCIETY FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL ACTION, KOLKATA 180. Rama Pandian, Tamilnadu Network, Madurai 181. Ranjita Sinha, Association of Transgender/Hijra in Bengal, Kolkata 182. Rasik Bhuva, GSNP+, Surat 183. Ratan Duloi, Amra Padatik, Kolkata 184. Ratul Dey, NIRMAAN REHABILITATION FACILITY, Guwahati 185. Raziya, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 186. Rekha Rai, Titagarh Durbar Samiti, Kolkata 187. Rekha Rani, Amrapali Seva Sansthan, Bihar 188. Renbonthung tongue, Indian Drug users’ Forum, Kohima 189. Renu Kaushal, Noida 190. RITA ROY, USHA MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED, KOLKATA 191. Rohima Bibi , Ultadanga Durbar Samiti, Kolkata 192. Rosa Herrera, Mexicali 193. Ruby, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 194. Ruksana, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 195. S Poongkodi, Sudaroli Pengal Munnetram Sangam, Chennai 196. S Radha, Erode, Tamilnadu 197. Sagar Karmakar, The Calcutta Samaritans, Kolkata 198. Sameem A Patel, Vadodara 199. Sameena, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra 200. Samini Poddar, Shantipur Durbar Samiti Shantipur, Bengal
201. Sana Khan Parvez, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 202. Sandhya Pagare, AP+, Vadodara 203. Sandip Purohit, Howrah 204. Sanjana Ram, Koshish, Kolkata 205. Sapna, Basirhat, Durbar Samiti 206. Sashi, Indian Drug Users' Forum, Nagaland 207. SATABDI SAHA, AMRA PADATIK, KOLKATA 208. Sathish Reginald Samuel, Bangalore 209. Satish Mistri, BDNP+, Bharuch 210. SAULINA ARNOLD, TAMIL NADU 211. Saulina Arnold, Chennai 212. Selvi, ERODE MAVATTA PENGAL SUYASAKTHI SANGAM, Tamilnadu 213. Shabir, Pwn+, Chennai 214. SHAKILA BANU, VADAMALAR PENNGAL SANGAM, TAMIL NADU 215. Shashi Sudhir, Faridabad 216. SHIBANI GIRI, SOCIETY FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL ACTION KOLKATA 217. Shitalu Asha, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 218. SHYAMALA NATARAJ, SIAAP, CHENNAI 219. Shyna, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 220. Sima Fokla, Women Right Activist, Kolkata 221. Sivansh Thakur, ATHB, Kolkata 222. Soma Debnath, Labor Right Activist, South Kolkata 223. Sonal Giani, Umang LBT* Support Group, Bangalore 224. Sonal Mehta, India HIV/AIDS Alliance, New Delhi 225. Sonali Rai, Ulberia Durbar Samiti, Kolkata 226. Sosan Sunita Bara,Ranchi 227. Sowmya, Delhi 228. Subharanjan Sinha, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Kolkata 229. Subhasish Roy, DMSC, Kolkata 230. Sultana Begam, Sarvodaya Samiti, Ajmer 231. Sumit Dutta, Gurugram 232. Sundari, Social Worker, Chennai 233. Sunita, Apsara Foundation, Delhi 234. Suresh Gamit, ForamFoundation, Vadodara 235. Surjeet, Harm reduction, Kaithal 236. Sutirtha Dutta, Indian Drug Users' Forum, Delhi 237. Syed Hafeez Ur Rahman , Ashodaya Samithi, Mysore 238. Tanjla Khatoon, Komal Gandhar, Kolkata 239. Tapan Kumar Behera, Mito Trust, Baripada 240. TK Yadav, Khwaab Foundation, Lucknow 241. Toli, Social Worker, Jhabua, MP 242. Tsewang Sherpa, SDUF (HepCoS ), Gangtok 243. Urmi Chudgar, HAQ, Delhi 244. UTTAM KUMAR MAITI, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Kolkata 245. V nagaraju, South India drug users forum, Vijayawada 246. Vaishnavi, PWN+, Chennai 247. Varsha More, Stri Shakti Sangathan, Nanded, Maharashtra 248. Vasavi Chilaka, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra, MUMBAI (SUBURBS) 249. Vegi harish, Humsafar trust, Visakhapatnam 250. Vincent Jpic, Rome 251. Vishwajeet, GKNP BHABUA, Bhabua 252. Vivek Raj Anand, Mumbai
253. Wendy Zodinpuii, MDUF, Aizawl 254. Wim Vandevelde, GNP+, Cape Town 255. Yadavendra Singh, Lucknow