April 15: Binayak Sen granted bail by SC

April 15, 2011


NEW DELHI/RAIPUR: The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition and for having links with Naxalites.

The apex court said that the evidence on record proves no sedition case against Sen. At the worst he could be termed active sympathizer of Naxals.

The court also observed that mere possession of Naxal literature does not make a person a Naxalite, guilty of sedition, as one who possesses Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography can not call himself a Gandhian.

Granting bail to the civil rights activist, the apex court said that the trial court would impose condition of bail while ordering jail authorities to release Binayak Sen.

A bench comprising Justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad passed the order on the petition moved by Sen challenging the order of Chhattisgarh high court denying him bail.

Reacting to the bail order for Binayak Sen, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said, “We have always respected the orders of each and every court. We respect the order of the Supreme Court. The court has only granted bail to Dr Sen. All other legal proceedings will continue in the Bilaspur high court. Whatever be the final outcome and order in the case, we shall continue to respect it.”

Sen, 61, had challenged a Chhattisgarh high court order that rejected his bail plea on February 10. He had sought bail contending that the trial court had erred in convicting him without substantial evidence.

Sen had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh high court on January 6, challenging a district and sessions court order that had convicted him on various charges, including sedition, and had sentenced him to life imprisonment.

A Raipur sessions court had on December 24 last year held Sen and three other people guilty of treason and for waging war against the state. He was also found guilty of sedition.

Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later. He was honoured with Jonathan Mann Award in 2008 while still in prison.