PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES–CHHATTISGARH
Post Box No. 87, Main Post Office, Raipur – 492001: Chhattisgarh: India
UPDATE On Dr. Binayak Sen’s Illegal Detention:
NEXT HEARING AT TRIAL COURT ON 28th December ’07
Fixed for Framing of Charges
Raipur, 26th December 2007 (Wednesday)
Next Hearing in Dr. Binayak Sen’s case is on 28th December, 2007 at the Court of the Additional District Judge ( Fast Track Court), Raipur for framing of charges. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court of India dismissed the Special Leave Petition and did not grant bail to Dr. Binayak Sen on 10th December, 2007. Thus, this stage of trial fixed for framing of charges is considered crucial. In addition to senior legal counsels representing Dr. Binayak Sen, a number of human rights organisations and activists, representatives of social movements and political parties are expected to be present on 28 th December during the proceedings.
The PUCL-Chhattisgarh Unit has appealed to all human rights and democratic organisations and activists to be present in large number to express solidarity with one of the most articulate and active defenders of human rights in India.
The PUCL-CG has also expressed concern at the delay tactics and interference in legal proceedings by the Chhattisgarh Police. One of the examples was the presence of the Investigating Officers right inside the Court during last hearing on 5th December 2007, while according to the letter of the law they, being prosecution witnesses, are not permitted to interfere with the trial proceedings. On being pointed out by the counsels of Dr. Binayak Sen, the concerned police officials were asked to leave the Court. The State also appears to be playing its own manipulative games in the Trial, as was pointed out that the railway reservation ticket seized from Mr. Piyush Guha, one of the co-accused, was not given to Dr. Binayak Sen along with the Charge Sheet, but was submitted in the Court as a “property”. This lacuna too was pointed out by the Legal Counsel for Dr. Binayak Sen to the Trial Court, who gave directions that all such “documents” should be handed over to Dr. Binayak Sen without any further delay before the framing of the Charges on 28th December, 2007. It appears that the State is submitting evidence in parts, and has also taken leave to submit further evidence, as according to the prosecution, the investigation is still in progress. Some additional documents having been filed as reply to the SLP in the Supreme Court are examples of such tactics.
The presence of the Police Investigation Officers within the Court and continuing handling of the case file and documents by them amounts to gross violation of established procedures, where the prosecution lawyer is meant to deal with the case. Being Prosecution Witness, the IO can appear in the Court only on the summons of the Trial Court.
Rajendra K Sail