Friday, April 15, 2011

Supreme Court observes no evidence of sedition; bails out Binayak Sen! [Update]

Well, thank goodness the right people in the Indian judiciary have a wonderful head on their shoulders.

A two member bench of the Supreme Court just granted bail to award winning public health expert and human rights activist, Dr. Binayak Sen, previously convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Chhattisgarh for sedition and aid to Naxalites fighting the state government.

Justices H.S. Bedi and C.K. Prasad observed, "He may be a sympathizer but that does not make him guilty of sedition" and went so far as to say all statements made by the state had no relevance.

 Source: BBC

This is a much needed morale boost to Dr. Sen's supporters worldwide.  Unfortunately, as senior advocate representing Chhattisgarh state, U.U. Lalit said, "the apex court has only to consider whether he can be granted bail or not."  The battle is not over.

Update: Law Minister V. Moily promises to revise "outdated" law.  The Lancet published a letter from two Cambridge University professors charging Dr. Sen's conviction is a result of persecution from a neo-colonial state upset by Dr. Sen's documentation of public health work with tribal people.


Lakshmi Rajan said...

I liked the SC observation "mere possession of Naxal literature does not make a person a Naxalite, as one who possesses Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography can not call himself a Gandhian"

PunditCommentator said...


Ram Ayodhya Singh said...

but the SC observation may be create log ramifications now all those who support crime but not at the site of crime may call them self sympathizer not as supporter. The same way the leaders of Pakistani terrorists. LeT commander Hafiz Sayeed never come to India so he may also call himself sympathizer not a terrorist. so might be Binayak Sen innocent but logic for his release needs to be re-think.

Pundit Commentator said...

Hello Ram Singh.

No, the logic holds. You can't hold all the Muslims across the world who cheered Osama Bin Laden responsible for the 9/11 attack. They, too, are sympathizers. Prosecutors must have material proof to connect you to the crime.

Ruhi Sonal said...

In absolute agreement! :)
We need to ensure that curbing terrorism is not confused into curbing freedom.

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