Those who find Sen ruling unsatisfactory can go for appeal: PC

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed surprise over the statement made by wife of jailed rights activist Binayak Sen that she did not feel safe in the country.

Updated: Jan 04, 2011, 21:16 PM IST

New Delhi: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday expressed surprise over the statement made by wife of
jailed rights activist Binayak Sen that she did not feel safe
in the country and said "those who respect law must also
respect the processes of law."

Answering questions about the judgement sentencing Sen to
life imprisonment on sedition charges, Chidambaram said the
judgement may be unsatisfactory for many people but the only
way to "correct" it was by filing an appeal.

"Binayak Sen has been convicted by a court of law. That
judgement according to many people is an unsatisfactory
judgement. It may be unsatisfactory but the only way that
judgement can be corrected is by filing an appeal," he said.

He said at the instance of Sen, "I persuaded the Chief
Minister of Chhattisgarh (Raman Singh) to ensure that the
trial takes place at least few days a week. Earlier, it was
taking place one day a month or one day in two weeks.

"So Binayak Sen expressed his happiness that the trial
will now take place quickly. The trial has ended in a
conviction. As I said it may be an unsatisfactory judgement
but both as a lawyer and a minister, I want to tell everyone
that the only way an unsatisfactory judgement can be corrected
is by going in appeal. There is no other way," he said.

The Minister recalled what he had said when Srikrishna
report on Telangana issue was submitted that those who respect
democracy must also respect the processes of democracy and
similarly "those who respect law must also respect the
processes of law."

On being asked questions further on the same, he said, "I
have not seen the evidence so I can`t comment on the judgement
but if it is an unsatisfactory judgement as may make it out to
be, I am sure it will be corrected in appeal."

On being asked about the apprehensions of Sen`s wife, he
said, "as far as Mrs Sen`s apprehensions... I have read it in
the newspapers. I am very sorry that she entertains such
apprehensions.

"I intend to talk to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
or wherever she is, and if she has any genuine apprehension
and if she wants assistance certainly we will provide
assistance. There is no reason why Mrs Sen or any other member
of her family should feel apprehensive in India."

Ilina Sen had claimed before media here yesterday that
it appeared that the only recourse left to her is to seek
political asylum in some "liberal" democratic country as she
felt that her family is not safe in her own country.

"After the verdict, they are targeting me. I am concerned
about my two daughters aged 25 years and 20 years. I am really
worried about them.

"If the state government does not allow Sen to be freed,
I will only get his dead body as life imprisonment means that
he will be in jail till his end of life. I need to stay out. I
would like to live my life fully...We have gone through
colossal agony," Ilina had said.

PTI