_4th October 2017_

The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) condemns the continuing attack, harassment, witch-hunting and false implication of Adv. Rajat Kalsan, people’s lawyer and Dalit rights crusader in its true sense, by the Haryana Police and goonda elements belonging to the dominant caste.

Adv. Kalsan is a practicing Lawyer in Hisar district of Haryana and has been for the past 16 years  working for the exploited and toiling masses, both inside and outside the court. Adv. Kalsan has been instrumental in getting justice for victims of more than 150 infamous cases of Dalit atrocities in state of Haryana, including Mirchpur carnage of 2010 (18 Dalit homes were torched and the duo of father and daughter burnt alive); the Gohana carnage of 2005 (60 Balmiki houses were set on fire); Dabra gang-rape case of 2012 (16-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped and father was forced to commit suicide); and Daulatpur hand chopping case of 2012 (Dalit man’s hand chopped off for drinking water from dominant-caste field). While fighting these cases Adv. Kalsan has been attacked by dominant caste goons on more than 6 occasions and has been under police protection for past 6 years. This police protection has been arbitrarily withdrawn after the political intervention at higher level.

The FIR in which Adv. Kalsan has been recently implicated, is in the background of another case of Dalit atrocity and social boycott/. In June, 2017 in village Bhatla amid dispute on water, dominant castes villagers assaulted 6-7 Dalit boys, and FIR No. 190/2017 was registered at Police Station Sadar Hansi under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, in which the police and District Administration pressurized the complainant/victim, clients of Adv. Kalsan, to arrive at a compromise. When the complainants chose not to compromise, the dominant caste members of the village openly announced social and economic boycott of the Dalits in the village. Apart from the social boycott, the family members of the complainant Ajay Kumar were attacked twice and Adv. Kalsan was also attacked and chased out of the village, when he had gone to the village to assist the fact-finding team constituted vide the order of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court.  In the meantime, the people from dominant caste of village staged a protest against Adv. Kalsan, demanding cancellation of License of Practice of Adv. Rajat Kalsan and a registration of case against him. On this, two FIRs. No 328/2015 & 725/2016 which were cancelled, were re-opened without seeking any permission from the Court and raids were conducted at his house and chambers to arrest Adv. Kalsan, and when Adv. Kalsan obtained anticipatory bail in both the FIRs, another fresh, false and fabricated FIR No. 302/2017 under section 389 (extortion), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 211 (False Charges), 193 (False Evidence), 505 (Statements Conducting Public Mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120B (Criminal Conspiracy), 109 of IPC, leveling false allegations of spreading hatred amongst Dalit masses. The whole FIR is based on a recording of conversation between Adv. Kalsan and his client, done illegally infringing the privacy of Adv. Kalsan. It ought to be noted that communication between an advocate and his/her client is deemed as a privileged communication under the Indian Evidence Act, 1972. Interim bail has been granted by the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court in this case as well.

Adv. Kalsan has been embroiled in false and motivated cases owing to his professional work as an advocate, he has been repeatedly targeted because of his diligence towards the cause of his clients and his uncompromising politics against caste discrimination. It is pertinent to mention here that, Adv. Kalsan has been forced to abandon his law practice and home town since the last one month. Continuous harassment, surveillance and intimidation of Adv. Kalsan is a clear violation of the Article 19 and UN Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers, amongst other constitutional and international standards. Further, here the role of District Bar Association also needs to be condemned and the casteist face of the District Bar Association needs to be exposed. The District Bar Association, under the influence of the police administration and Jat leaders, has sent a recommendation to Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana to get the license of Adv. Kalsan cancelled. Such attempts of intimidation of  lawyers by the state and statutory authorities amounts to obstruction of the administration of justice as it is an attempt to deter lawyers from performing their duties.

The Indian Association of People’s Lawyers calls upon all to stand in solidarity and support of Adv. Rajat Kalsan and condemn the witch hunt and persecution of a true People’s Lawyer. Further, the IAPL demands that the State of Haryana and Haryana Police withdraw/cancel all false and frivolous cases against Adv. Kalsan, expeditiously and take steps to protect the life, liberty and constitutional rights of Adv. Rajat Kalsan, given the gravity of the situation.


_Advocate Surendra Gadling,_
_General Secretary,_
_Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL)_

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