Late Justice (Rtd.) Hosbet Suresh (d. 11th June 2020) with conferred with 2nd Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in the presence of his family members – Malini, Rajni, and Shalini . The press conference was oganised over Zoom on 13th July 2020.
Prominent people like Teesta Setalvad, Dr. Ram Puniyani, Commander (Retd.) Mansoor Ali Bohra, Johan Dayal, Narendra Mohanthy, Uma Chakravarthi etc were present during the meeting.
Late Justice (Rtd) Hosbet Suresh (d. 11th June 2020) will be conferred posthumously with the 2nd Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the cause of human rights in India that went beyond the hallowed halls of court rooms.
The award carries a cash award of INR 25,000 and a citation.
Adv. Irfan Engineer, Director of Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) said, “Justice Hosbet, a retired judge of Bombay High Court was a voice of the marginalized for many decades. He struggled to defend their human rights and stood by the Constitutional values”.
Justice Suresh headed several people’s tribunals compiling reports on violations of Constitutional rights of the marginalized communities. The reports, a meticulous compilation of facts and testimonies are often cited in Supreme Court and High Court proceedings.
The peoples’ tribunals he was associated included: Bangalore riots (1991, Report Released in 1992) that followed the Cauvery waters dispute; The People’s Verdict (1993) on the communal riots in Mumbai after the demolition of the Babri Masjid; “Forced Evictions – An Indian People’s Tribunal Enquiry into the Brutal Demolitions of Pavement and Slum Dwellers’ Homes” (1995) in Mumbai.
Likewise he compiled reports on harmful effects of prawn farming on the eastern coast that led the Supreme Court (SC) to order a ban on prawn cultivation (1995).
He was also part of the commission that investigated the drowning of Dalits by the Tamil Nadu Police (1999); the shooting of tribals in Devas, Madhya Pradesh (1999); and the inquiry into the 2002 Gujarat riots that led to the delineation of the vicious violence in a powerful report titled “Crime Against Humanity”.
During his role as Judge of Bombay High Court and almost three decades after he retired from the judiciary, Justice Suresh fearlessly stood in solidarity with many civil society organizations to fight for justice.
Throughout his life, he was a voice of conscience and truth. His humility and pursuit for justice inspired many civil society organizations, human rights defenders and legal fraternity in taking up struggles of the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society.
In 2019, this award was presented to the celebrated writer, K P Rammanunni, prominent litterateur working for communal harmony and syncretic traditions of India.
Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted by Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (CBDBC), Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) and Bohra Youth Association Sansthan (BYA) to promote the legacy of Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, an internationally acclaimed Islamic scholar who worked for communal harmony, progressive reforms within Dawoodi Bohras and gender justice.
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