Going to "see" how courts handle Binayak Sen case: UN official

In comments that could stoke a controversy, a top UN envoy on human rights said the world body would "see" how Indian courts deal with the case relating to Binayak Sen sentenced to life imprisonment.

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2011, 22:05 PM IST

New Delhi: In comments that could stoke a
controversy, a top UN envoy on human rights on Friday said the
world body would "see" how Indian courts deal with the case
relating to Binayak Sen sentenced to life imprisonment by a
Chhattisgarh court for sedition.

UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya said the "due
process" should take place while dealing with the case and the
world body was waiting to see the outcome of the appeal filed
in a higher court against his sentence.

"We are waiting for the outcome of the case. We want
to see how the case is going to be handled by the courts,"
Sekaggya, who is on 10-day fact finding mission in India about
human rights violations, said here.

The comments by the UN envoy came a day after the
Supreme Court came down heavily on social activist Teesta
Setalvad for raising the issue of post-Godhra riots of Gujarat
with Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights.

58-yer-old Sen, Vice-President of People`s Union of
Civil Liberties, was convicted for sedition and sentenced to
life in prison along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and
Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha for colluding with Maoists to
establish a network to fight the state.

Sen has already challenged in Chhattisgarh High Court
the life sentence given to him by the local court.

Noting that if such a case was brought to the UN and
if it finds that the person concerned is a huamn rights
defender, then the world body encourages the government to
follow the due process and investigate the matter, the UN
official said.

"The Sen issue was brought to us. We met his wife and
I know that the case was going for appeal," Sekaggya said when
asked about conviction of Sen by a court in Chhattisgarh that
had triggered angry reactions from fellow activists within and
outside the country.

PTI