People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) is committed to the defense and promotion of civil liberties and the democratic way of life in India. Since 1980, PUCL has made several important interventions and has been expanding its membership through state units established in most states across the country. On 12th August 2017, following an open meeting held in Mumbai, the PUCL Maharashtra (State) unit was reconstituted and an ad-hoc Committee was formed to take up civil liberties and other issues under the mandate of PUCL and to call for memberships in the State of Maharashtra.
Following the growing concerns in civil society on the rising attacks on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech, expression and association, the newly reconstituted PUCL Maharashtra is holding its first Public Meeting in Mumbai on 21st April 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. at YMCA, Colaba, on the "Curtailment of Freedom of Expression using Surveillance and Criminal Law Mechanisms".
The Repeal Sedition Group, Kala Ghoda Artists Association and other organisations working on free speech are also participating in this effort. This meeting will be a first, in a series of several such efforts and campaigns to be undertaken by PUCL Maharashtra in coming times.
Senior Journalist and Co-founder of the news portal 'The Wire', Siddharth Bhatia, will be providing an overview of the 'Status and Attacks on Freedom of Expression in India'. Aadhaar-expert and activist Vicram Crisna will speak on 'Use of Surveillance and Profiling to thwart freedom of speech and expression'. PUCL Maharashtra Convener and Senior Advocate, Mihir Desai will speak on 'Use of Criminal Mechanisms such as Sedition, Defamation, Hate Incitement laws etc.'
This will be followed by an open discussion among the attendees to review and deliberate on the issue and strategise a way forward.
Date : Saturday
Venue : 1st Floor, YMCA Colaba, 12, Nathalal Parekh Marg, Mumbai (Nearest Railway Station Churchgate/CST)
Mihir Desai (Convener), Rajni Bakshi, Sandhya Gokhale, Dolphy D'souza, Sitaram Shelar, Alex D'Mello and Lara Jesani
Ad-Hoc Committee, PUCL Maharashtra