Prasad flays Centre on permitting EU team in Binayak Sen case

New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Senior advocate and BJP leaderRavi Shankar Prasad today criticised the Centre forentertaining the plea of an European human rights delegationto witness bail proceedings of prominent civil rights activistBinayak Sen in the Chattisgarh High Court.

Terming the decision as "unfortunate" and "lack ofinherent trust in the country''s judicial system," Prasadregretted that the Centre did not protest against the request.

"It is unfortunate that the government of India and theMinistry of External Affairs has not protested. It involves alarger issue. The decision of the central government to aninternational body in a pending case shows lack of inherenttrust in the country''s strongest judicial system," he toldreporters here.

61-year-old Sen, a paediatrician by profession, wasconvicted by a Chhattisgarh court for sedition and sentencedto life along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkatabusinessman Piyush Guha.

His bail petition, which came up for hearing today inthe high court, has been adjourned till Tuesday.

Incidentally, eminent lawyer and BJP MP Ram Jethmalanihas announced that he would appear for Sen free of cost.

Prasad said the government did not reject the EUdelegation''s plea and had instead referred the request to thestate which in turn had forwarded the same to the High Court.

The High Court had earlier in the day permitted thedelegation to witness the proceedings.

"It is surprising that the government did not lodge aprotest. What is the purpose of monitoring the courtproceedings? Our judicial system is one of the best in theworld. The PIL jurisdiction of our courts is the biggestcontribution to the world," he said.

According to the EU, it had earlier informed the MEAthat it intended to send representatives from its Delhi-basedmissions of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary,Sweden, the UK, and the EU, to attend the court hearing. PTIRB

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