The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to grant bail to Binayak Sen in the case levelled by the Chhattisgarh government that resulted in the noted civil rights activist being confined for over two years in Raipur jail on charges of sedition and participation in “unlawful activities”. It is pertinent to note, in reading out the order, the Supreme Court judge specifically commented upon the long period of incarceration for an undertrial, stating “two years is too much”, before passing the instruction “bail granted”.
Following this order, Binayak Sen has stepped out of jail and resumed his personal and professional commitments that had been seriously hampered as a result of the long-drawn imprisonment. While the bail order is undoubtedly a timely reprieve for Sen who has been suffering on account of poor health in the course of the last few months, the trial and the dangers of a long-drawn legal battle however continue to loom. It is also pertinent to note that the case, in which Sen has been granted bail, also has Piyush Guha, a businessman, and Narayan Sanyal, a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist), as co-accused.
While welcoming the order for release, announced by the Supreme Court, PUDR would like the present order for bail to be applied equally in case of the other two accused. In addition, it would also urge the state of Chhattisgarh to exercise legal restraint and refrain from activities that affect in any way the free movement, privacy and health of all accused and their families.
Gautam Navlakha; Moushumi Basu
Secretaries, People’s Union for Democratic Rights