Maharashtra: IAPL is no Maoist front, says lawyer of activist Ferreira

Pune: Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) to which activist Arun Ferreira belonged had no connection with the Naxals, his lawyer told the court in Nashik on Monday. Ferreira was arrested by Pune police for alleged Maoist links. Arguing on Ferreira’s bail application before additional sessions judge K D Vadane here, his lawyer Sudeep Pasbola also said that mere possession of incriminating documents can not prove membership of a banned organisation. “There is no material to indicate that Ferreira is member of Communist Party of India (Maoist),” he said.

“This lawyers’ organisation (IAPL) fights legal battle for the downtrodden and marginalised and this legal battle is within the four corners of the Constitution,” Pasbola argued, and dismissed police’s claim that it was a front organisation of the CPI (Maoists). Ferreira is IAPL’s treasurer, he said. On police’s claim of seizing “incriminating material” (documents) from the possession of the accused, Pasbola said such material of banned organisations is easily available and merely possessing it does not make one a member of the organisation.

Ferreira was earlier tried in 11 cases but was acquitted in all, the lawyer said, adding there was no evidence to suggest that he supported or participated in violence. Left-wing activists Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Telugu poet Varavara Rao are currently under house arrest in the case after their arrest in August.

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