SC adjourns case of Binayak Sen`s bail till Friday

Binayak Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition and links with Naxalites.

The Supreme Court, Monday, adjourned till April 15 the hearing on the bail plea of rights
activist Binayak Sen, sentenced to life imprisonment for colluding with Maoists, after Chhattisgarh government sought more time to argue its case.

A bench of Justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad deferred the hearing on the plea of Chhattisgarh government which had been directed on March 11 to submit within four weeks its
response to the bail application of Sen.

61-year-old Sen is serving life term in a Chhattisgarh jail following his conviction on charges of sedition and links with Naxalites.

He had moved the apex court challenging the Chhattisgarh High Court order rejecting his bail plea on February 10.

A professional doctor and a pass-out of the prestigious Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Sen has sought bail contending that the trial court has erred in convicting him when there was no substantial evidence.

A bench of justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad had on March 11 agreed to hear Sen`s plea and had sought the response of Chhattisgarh government within four weeks.

Opposing Sen`s bail plea, the state government in its affidavit had said that the activist should not be granted any relief as he has deep links with hardcore Naxalites.

"He (Sen) provides active support and co-ordinates in spreading the base of CPI (Maoist) in the country. Apart from providing logistic support, he exchanges information and material directly and indirectly with the Naxalites in the area of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa and propagates Naxal ideology," the affidavit filed by the state government said.

According to the state government, Sen helped Naxal leaders in arranging accommodation in Raipur and through his wife Elina Sen also helped open bank accounts of hardcore Naxalites Shankar Singh and Amita Shrivastava.

Sen, vice-president of People`s Union of Civil Liberties, was convicted for sedition and sentenced to life imprisonment along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha for colluding with the Maoists to establish a network to fight the state.

Sen`s conviction and sentence had led to outrage in many quarters, including international human rights bodies.

Family members of Sen, PUCL activists, and two members of the European Union were present in the high court during the hearing. The EU had earlier sought the high court`s permission to attend the hearings.