Terror Trails: Reflections on Fundamental Rights and Judicial Independence [Watch- 4th Shahid Azmi Lecture]

Terror Trails: Reflections on Fundamental Rights and Judicial Independence | The Fourth Shahid Azmi Lecture by Justice(Retd) Abhay M. Thipsay.

About the Speaker:

Justice Abhay M. Thipsay retired as a judge from Allahabad High Court. For years, he was a judge at the Bombay High Court where he presided over several significant cases delivering judgments, which were seen widely as restoring people’s faith in the judicial process.

Justice Thipsay conducted the retrial in the Best Bakery carnage of 2002 on the Supreme Court orders, which led to the conviction of nine accused. In 2013, while granting bail to the members of the Kabir Kala Manch who had been charged under the stringent UAPA, he commended them for creating social awareness through their plays. “Speaking about corruption, social inequality, exploitation of the poor is not banned in our country”, he observed.  He forcefully reiterated the legal point, often overlooked in our courts, that “passive” membership without any involvement in acts of violence cannot be grounds for criminalization.

Known to be a fiercely independent judge, he has spoken out against MCOCA and the need for greater transparency in the judicial system. More recently, Justice Thipsay has also questioned the manner in which the accused in the Sohrabuddin Encounter killing have been discharged, terming it a “failure of justice and the justice delivery system”.