Chhattisgarh HC permits EU team to witness proceedings on Sen's appeal

Raipur, Jan 24 (ANI): The Chhattisgarh High Court on Monday permitted a delegation of European Union observers to witness proceedings on Human Rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen's appeal against his life term in a sedition case.

A division bench comprising Justices T P Sharma and R L Jhanwar considered the reference on the EU proposal made to it by the state government and decided to permit the eight-member team to attend the proceedings in the court.

One of India's most eminent criminal lawyers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani, who represented Sen in court said: "My client is absolutely innocent. There is no case. The whole case is nothing but political persecution and legally it is a case of no evidence, not merely bad evidence, but no evidence."

"They (prosecution) planted one document ... otherwise there is no other document that implicates him. So, this is a useless case (and) government should withdraw it," he added.

Sen was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on sedition charges by an Additional District and Sessions Court at Raipur last month.

Sen filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court on January 6, challenging the decision of the district and sessions court order that convicted Sen under various charges included sedition and sentenced him to life imprisonment

The Raipur Sessions Court on December 24 had held Sen and three other people guilty of treason and waging war against the state. He has also been found guilty of sedition.

Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later. He was honoured with Jonathan Mann award in 2008, while he was still in prison.

Sen is a 58-year-old paediatrician and public health physician with a 25-year record of providing health care to the Adivasi people of Chhattisgarh. (ANI)

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