Bail has reposed faith in judiciary eroded by the Raipur court judgment,say members
Hailing the Supreme Court for granting bail to Dr Binayak Sen on Friday,the Pune Binayak Sen Release Committee said it was the first step in securing justice for the social activist but the next step for justice to prevail fully would be when the appeal to quash the Raipur court judgment goes in favour of the doctor-social activist.
Dr Abhay Shukla and Dr Anant Phadke of the Jan Arogya Abhiyan,part of the Committee comprising many social organisations,also felt the bail had reinstated faith of people in the judiciary,which the Committee says was eroded by the punishment handed out to Sen by the Raipur Sessions Court without a shred of incriminating evidence.
They felt the lower court judgement had instilled fear in anyone who legitimately questions the trampling of human rights by the police or other government agencies and great injustice was done by the Raipur Sessions Court and the Chhattisgarh High Court,which had rejected his bail plea,to the democratic fabric of the country.
The Committee which had been campaigning for Sen,stated that there was no material on record to prove that Sen had committed any offence under the purview of sedition,and not a single document seized qualifies to be linked with sedition charges,besides,after the Supreme Court judgement in Kedarnath Singh versus State of Bihar 1962,it has been established that sedition charges were applicable only when there is a direct incitement to violence,or an attempt to lead to public disorder. It is pretty clear that there is no question,any evidence whatsoever of any such thing being committed by Sen,said Phadke.
In view of widespread criticism of the ridiculous charges against Dr Sen,we demand that the charges against him be withdrawn, the Committee has demanded.
The Committee states that Binayak Sens crime was criticising the Salwa Judums (anti-Naxal movement) violent activities in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and the immediate cause was Binayak and his PUCL exposing the gunning down of 12 adivasi youths in Santoshpur by the Chhattisgarh Police on March 31,2007. PUCL has also been demanding the withdrawal of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA) under which Sen had been charged.
Various political parties,peoples organisations,journalists associations and both national and international human rights organizations had pointed out the unconstitutional and repressive features of this Act,the Committee members say. Among its arbitrary and dangerous features are the vague definitions of illegal and unlawful activities and the definitions are such that even peaceful forms of democratic protest and ordinary civil disobedience can be brought under its purview and declared unlawful activity and any protesting group can be declared unlawful.