Human Rights Lawyer Under Judicial Custody In Bhima Koregaon Case Honoured By Harvard Law School

Human Rights Lawyer Under Judicial Custody In Bhima Koregaon Case Honoured By Harvard Law School

Human rights lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested by Maharashtra Police under Unlawful Activities Prohibition Act in Bhima Koregaon case on allegations of Maoist links, has been honoured by the Harvard Law School.

Bhardwaj's name features in the list of 21 honorees of the Harvard Law School on the occasion of International Women's Day and she is included in the International Women's Day portrait exhibit. The portrait exhibit showcases the "astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy".

"The honorees—each of whom were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff—are powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets", states the official website of Harvard Law School.

She was arrested from her residence in Faridabad by Maharashtra police on August 28 in the Bhima Koregaon case. The police alleged that she and four other activists - Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and Guatam Navlakha- had Maoist links and acted as masterminds behind violence in Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018.

Though arrested, the Pune police could not take her away from Faridabad as the Supreme Court intervened in the meantime on the plea by academic-historian Romila Thappar and few others seeking court-monitored probe by Special Investigation Team in the case. The Court had ordered to keep Bharadwaj and others under house arrest during the pendency of the case.

On September 28, the SC by 2:1 majority dismissed the plea for SIT, with the dissent of Justice Chandrachud who expressed that Maharashtra police was biased.

She was brought to Pune on October 26, and has been in jail ever since.The police is yet to file chargesheet against her and the four others.

She has been a trade unionist, human rights activist and lawyer, engaging with marginalised workers and adivasis in tribal areas in Chattisgarh. She was also the national secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties.

She used to teach on tribal rights at National Law University Delhi as a visiting faculty

Her arrest was condemned by several students, faculty and alumni of NLU-D and also several lawyers, who issued statements to that effect.

Supreme Court lawyer Maneka Guruswamy also features in the Harvard list of honorees.