Surendra Gadling holds significant knowledge in special laws such as MCOCA, POTA, TADA, UAPA has handled many cases before various forums, including before hon’ble high court for the last 24 years. His professional work, which is his fundamental duty and is part of ensuring the fundamental rights of the accused person has brought him many enemies within the Police Machineries. Players there have been threatening him from time to time. However, those were hollow threats meant to intimidate and distract petitioners from the trial, and as a matured person petitioner chose to discourage them by discarding them.
During the time he has served people in conflict with the law, he had to handle many high profile matters, which had got publicity amongst masses and much of police attention.
His appointment as Special Public Prosecutors on demand by Women organizations, deploying of heaviest police bandobast, cordoning off-court premises, issuing alerts on the court hearing days, Police has thrown its absolute weight behind such cases. Despite all that, Gadling has been successful in convincing the courts of law about the innocence of the persons and discarding of ridiculous allegations. Among the persons Gadling defended many were charged with UAPA/TADA and labeled as terrorists or Naxalites. Some of these names will definitely be part of the history for their contribution towards society.
To name a few, Gadling represented Mr. Arun Ferreira and Mr. Dhanendra Bhurile, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudhir Dhawale.
Not only this Gadling has been instrumental in fighting cases of many activists coming from divergent ideology. He was one of the forefront lawyers in Khairlanji Hatyakand aftermath, Jawkheda Hatyakand, Manorama Kamble Hatyakand, Kawalewada Sanjay Khobragade murder case, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar Hatyakand agitation cases, cases pertaining to fake encounter.
He was also part of the Bhima Koregaon riot fact-finding team. In one such dowry death case, women organization carried out extensive agitations demanding appointment of the petitioner as Special Public Prosecutor. After his appointment, despite a hostile investigation team, he managed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and obtained the conviction of the husband. After completion of the case, as a duty of prosecutor, the petitioner wrote to the higher-ups in the police department seeking stern action against police officers from the investigation team for their divisive role.
The above apart, being a lawyer, petitioner has played a major role with respect issues related to backward communities, in defense of reservation, in defense of the independence of the judiciary. He was instrumental in organizing much mass awareness public meetings on various human rights issues. He was equally instrumental in conducting fact-finding on various human rights issues in association with senior retired judges from the High Court And Supreme Court. He has been a voice against persecution of the lawyers by the police machinery. He had conducted fact-finding in Chhattisgarh and brought out a report about persecution and harassment of lawyers who take up cases pertaining to tribals trapped in UAPA cases.
Suffice it to say, the role of Gadling as a lawyer, as an activist has been quite unpleasant for power holders in the police department. For, his entry to the defense side would alter the outcome of the case.he as such has fearlessly defended many even when there was strong objection from bar associations, negative publicity in media and more importantly there was open threatening from investigating bodies. Given his act of defending those who are categorized as Naxals, police officials have made efforts to rope him in one or another way. There have been many instances when police officials have conveyed their displeasure towards him handling these cases or representing such accused person in various ways.
That during the famous trial of Prof G N Saibaba, Mr. Bawache the then Investigating Officer, in that case, had said it in the court premises itself that once Saibaba is sent to jail it will be the turn of Advocate Surendra Gadling. This particular threat was given right in front of juniors/associates of Gadling. It was clear that the threat was administered only to ensure that the defense counsel does not dare to function with a free mind. True to his threat, Mr. Bawache even got one of the surrendered Naxalite to give 164 statements in which he has attributed some of the most ridiculous allegations against Gadling. He is the same officer who is closely supervising along with some more unknown officers, the present case without officially being part of the investigation. Gadling though was never intimidated by such threats since the 1990s, the time when he had to keep his anticipatory bail order in his pocket on the day of his marriage. However this time the collusion of Police with BJP at center and State managed to find out a way to silence him temporarily.
But how could you silence a born activist? In Yerevan prison too Gadling’s legal advice helped more than 10 inmates to get out of prison. that’s why his stay in Taloja is made very much uncomfortable these days.
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