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Sedition and Binayak Sen

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The back story of the charge of sedition against Binayak Sen was, as his lawyer says, weak. The Hindu reports a foregone conclusion when the case of Binayak Sen versus the state of Chhattisgarh came to the supreme court:

The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Dr. Binayak Sen, observing that no case of sedition was made out against the rights activist, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Chhattisgarh.

A Bench of Justices H.S. Bedi and C.K. Prasad, after hearing senior counsel Ram Jethmalani for the petitioner and senior counsel U.U. Lalit for the State, granted bail to Dr. Sen, making it clear that mere possession of some materials espousing Maoist ideology would not amount to sedition.

The Bench said it was not giving reasons for granting bail to Dr. Sen, who would be released subject to the satisfaction of the trial court.

Justice Prasad told Mr. Lalit, “We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathiser. That does not make him guilty of sedition.” Drawing an analogy, he asked Mr. Lalit: “if Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is found in somebody’s place, is he a Gandhian. No case of sedition is made out on the basis of materials in possession unless you show that he was actively helping or harbouring them [Maoists].”


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

April 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

One Response

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  1. […] of privilege motion against actor Anupam Kher for suggesting that the constitution needed change. Dr. Binayak Sen was accused of sedition and jailed before the supreme court threw out the charges. When various state governments see challenges to […]

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