Chhattisgarh HC rejects Binayak Sen’s bail plea

NEW Delhi, February 10 (Agencies): The Chhattisgarh High Court dismissed award winning activist and pediatrician Dr. Binayak Sen’s application for a suspension of sentence and bail. The court will continue to hear the appeal against the life sentence handed down by a Raipur Additional District and Sessions Court. The court also dismissed a similar application filed by co-accused Pijush Guha. On December 24 last year, the lower court in Raipur convicted Dr. Sen, Kolkata businessman Pijush Guha, and alleged Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal, of conspiring to commit sedition and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
Dr. Sen was arrested in May 2007 on the suspicion that he served as a courier for Mr. Sanyal. Prison records indicate that Dr. Sen visited Mr. Sanyal several times in Raipur Jail, where Mr. Sanyal was incarcerated. Dr. Sen maintained that the visits were in his capacity as a doctor and as the Chhattisgarh Secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Responding to the verdict, Dr. Sen’s wife, Dr. Ilina Sen expressed her disappointment and said she felt there were fair grounds for bail.” We shall file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court as soon as possible,” she said.
In a statement prior to his conviction, Dr. Sen said he was being persecuted for highlighting police atrocities in Chhattisgarh and for opposing the Salva Judum, a controversial State-supported anti-Maoist campaign. The trial was marked by allegations that the police fabricated vital evidence and coached key witnesses. On the eve of his bail hearing, forty Nobel laureates from around the world issued a statement expressing support and urging that the case be heard under the highest standards of Indian law.