SC defers hearing on Binayak Sen's bail plea to April 15

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Apr 11: The Supreme Court today adjourned till April 15 the hearing on the bail plea of rights activist Binayak Sen, sentenced to life imprisonment for colluding with Maoists, after Chhattisgarh government sought more time to argue its case.

A bench of Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad deferred the hearing on the plea of Chhattisgarh government which had been directed on March 11 to submit within four weeks its response to the bail application of Sen.

61-year-old Sen is serving life term in a Chhattisgarh jail following his conviction on charges of sedition and links with Naxalites.

He had moved the apex court challenging the Chhattisgarh High Court order rejecting his bail plea on February 10.

A doctor and a pass-out of the prestigious Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Sen sought bail contending that the trial court has erred in convicting him when there was no substantial evidence.

Opposing Sen's bail plea, the state government in its affidavit had stated that the activist should not be granted any relief as he has deep links with hardcore Naxalites.

"He (Sen) provides active support and co-ordinates in spreading the base of CPI (Maoist) in the country. Apart from providing logistic support, he exchanges information and material directly and indirectly with the Naxalites in the area of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa and propagates Naxal ideology," the affidavit filed by the state government said.

According to the state government, Sen helped Naxal leaders in arranging accommodation in Raipur and through his wife Elina Sen also helped open bank accounts of hardcore Naxalites Shankar Singh and Amita Shrivastava.

Vice-president of People's Union of Civil Liberties, Sen was, in December last year, convicted for sedition and sentenced to life imprisonment along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha for colluding with the Maoists to establish a network to fight the state.

Sen's conviction had drawn a sharp reaction from many quarters, including international human rights bodies.

PTI

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