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[Media Lines] India: Supreme Court’s New Ruling on UAPA violates Freedom of Association

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In response to the Indian Supreme Court restoring the ‘guilt by association’ doctrine in criminal jurisprudence:

FORUM-ASIA condemns the recent judgement by India’s apex court restoring the doctrine of  “guilt by association”. As per the new ruling, mere membership of a banned organisation will be a crime under India’s repressive anti-terror law: the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.

This move reverses the 2011 judgement which declared that members of banned organizations cannot be treated as criminals unless they resort to violence, create public disorder, or disturb public peace.

The Indian state has already been misusing terror laws against dissenting voices, human rights defenders, and journalists in the country – the new ruling will further allow the state to incarcerate individuals based on prejudicial evidence.

FORUM-ASIA reminds the Indian Government of its responsibility to protect people’s freedom of association as ensured by the Indian constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a state party.


The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a network of 85 member organisations across 23 countries, mainly in Asia. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. The FORUM-ASIA Secretariat is based in Bangkok, with offices in Jakarta, Geneva and Kathmandu.

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