In one of my previous articles’ A Huge Blunder On Part Of Supreme Court To Grant Bail To Binayak Sen‘, I had expressed my deep frustration over the leniency exhibited by the Supreme court in granting bail to Binayak Sen. I had then clearly stated that this would not be seen as a good precedent in history of criminal justice system. It would not only be demoralizing for the investigative agencies involved in trapping hard-core criminals but also leave a very bad impact on lower courts, which do a tough task of arriving at proper conclusions in light of evidences and arguments.
I am not going to discuss once again whether Supreme court was right or wrong in granting the bail. I am, at present, really taken aback by the recent strange move of the Central government. It has given a place to Binayak Sen in Planning Commission’s Steering Committee on Health as a member. Binayak Sen as one of the representatives belonging to civil society will advise the panel on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Interestingly, the move to make him part of the Planning Commission came very soon. He had got bail just couple of days back.
I am really surprised that though all the major newspapers mentioned the appointment of Binayak Sen, they avoided placing the appropriateness of this decision under the lens. That in my eyes is highly baffling. The media which raises hue and cry over seemingly insignificant gestures of celebrities, belonging to various fields, remained silent over this stunning development. It never bothered to raise this question in a prominent way as to why Binayak Sen was granted a place in Planning Commission despite being convicted of committing a serious crime?
Can convicts be allowed to become part of reputed institutions even as the matter is being heard in Court? I mean the Indian media which loves to get involved in ridiculous sting operations, not leaving even chaddhi-baniyan (private life) of the celebrities, chose to treat it as insignificant development. Why did it fail to make it an issue? Doesn’t this prove one thing that media is, in actuality, hand in glove with its favourite bashing boy-the government? That it loves to criticize and praise with some vested interests in mind?
There is also a peculiar aspect involved in this shady development. This aspect is quite disturbing for all souls, who love to see two plus two as four quite often in life. Now just have a look at this pretty intriguing connection. The way Binayak Sen was granted bail by the Supreme court was not praised in many legal circles. However, the protests remained within limits of decency as the decision maker was Supreme court! Anyway, many dared to believe that there was more than meets the eye! For instance, the role of power centres in getting a desired judgment became a subject matter in private conversations. The government’s move to have him in the Planning Commission gives strength to such wild assumptions. After all, what was the urgency to have him as a member within weeks of getting bail? It’s really appears so strange that a person convicted under such serious charges is fit enough to be part of such a reputed government body and that too when matter the matter is sub judice.
Are the laws interpreted as per stature of person? The influential people manage to find thousand ways to have a bail in serious charges but an ordinary citizen spends many days in jail as under-trial even in a case, wherein it’s certain that person involved had no connection with the crime at all. I wish to know what message are we conveying to people of this nation via appointment of such dubious people in prominent institutions? Are we aware of the repercussions of such disastrous gestures?
Should the people remain silent merely because important bodies are involved in making of such decisions? The answer is emphatic no. It’s time that all thinking souls become vocal about such shady activities taking place with help of hi profile people and big institutions. Let’s not remain silent. Let’s learn to act as a watch-dog, which has the capacity not only to bark loudly but bite as well.
The bail granted to Binayak Sen would have a detrimental effect on the criminal justice system. The verdict is being perceived as a testimony to the perfect Indian legal system. I am afraid that it’s far away from the truth. This man should have been denied bail in light of facts that are associated with this case. The Supreme court has been astonishingly liberal in dealing with the facts associated with this evil doctor. Surprisingly, it has nothing else to state other than treating the Sen as mere ” sympathiser(of Naxalites)” and, therefore,“ no case of sedition is made out against him and the evidence is baseless”. The bench comprising of Justice HS Bedi and CK Prasad stated: “ We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathiser (of Naxalites) but it did not make him guilty of sedition. He is a sympathiser. Nothing beyond that.”
Ignoring the fact that this man has close contacts with likes of Narayan Sanyal, the Supreme court bench came up with the flawed opinion that the possibility to pass information to jailed Naxal leaders Narayan Sanyal and Piyush Guha is absolutely impossible. “Visitors are screened and searched by the jail staff. Jailors are there to oversee all these things. So, the question of passing letters or documents doesn’t arise.” Anybody who knows the Indian jails know quite well that all big criminals are operating from inside the jails. The contract to kill (Supari) is being ordered from inside the jails via the mobile. A surprise raid in any Indian jail would always lead to discovery of drugs, weapons, mobile phones and other prohibited things.
If one goes by the logic of Supreme court, these things should never be found in possession of the prisoners. However, the reality is otherwise. The bench decided to ignore this obvious reality is really bothering to a thinking mind like me. Is it not aware of the fact that high profile prisoners are living a luxurious life inside the jails ? How is that possible unless they are being supplied with prohibited articles in a secret way? It’s indeed baffling that Supreme court bench weakened and twisted the grounds projecting Sen as guilty.
Interestingly, it finds no meaning when one meets hardcore criminals. I never imagined that conspirators and co-accused are not equally guilty as accused. The verdict to grant bail to Binayak Sen demolishes the elements inherent in law related to conspiracy. One of the principles involved in making of a conspiracy is quite clear that “it is not necessary that each conspirator must know all the details of the scheme nor be a participant at every stage.” It’s really strange that when one meets with hardcore criminals so many times in jail it amounts only to being a “sympathiser “. Now who is Narayan Sanyal ? He was the active member of ” Naxalite movement led by Charu Mazumdar in late 1960s and was a member of Kolkata’s Dalhousie local committee. He was a founder member and politburo member of the CPI-ML (People’s War).”
What’s the need for Police to arrest the aides/accomplices of main accused/criminal? They should be ignored as mere symapthisers. The police should not waist time in nabbing them. However, the reality is that police may or may not pick the main accused but it readily arrests many on grounds that they provided helping hand in direct or indirect way to the accused. If that’s the case, the person like Binayak Sen found guilty of helping the Naxalites should not have been given any room to prove otherwise. Look at this two evidences. There are letters besides electronic documents that show correspondences with the banned organizations. He has the guts to meet with hardcore Naxalite leader Naryan Sanyal more than 33 times in jail. He also possesses banned literature but Court downplays its importance with its remark that ” If Gandhi’s books were found in my house, would that make me a Gandhian?” This simplistic take on the whole issue is quite amazing.
One would love to know in what capacity Sen was in touch with hardcore Naxalite leaders? Was he Sanyal’s advocate that he met so many times with him? The fact that he not only owned Naxalite literature but also in touch with dangerous Naxalite leaders are enough to hail him as guilty. These are sufficient material evidence and therefore the stand of Supreme court that ” state could not slap sedition charges on Sen unless there was material to show that he was actively preaching or propagating Maoist ideals ” is not appropriate. What else one should produce in name of material evidence ? Even circumstantial evidences are enough to prove anybody guilty and here we have strong evidences but still there is want of material evidence? Isn’t it sound strange when Supreme court demands more material evidence?
The High court while dismissing the bail plea of Binayak Sen had absolutely agreed with the arguments of prosecution and prima facie found Binayak Sen guilty. The prosecution had convinced the bench that Binayak had strong links with the Maoists. The prosecution had argued that “the trial court has already convicted Sen on charges of sedition. The documents seized and the circumstances in totality qualify for the requirement for conviction on the charges of sedition.” His organisation “Rupantar” had members having links with the Maoists making it clear that “it’s not just a simple case of a doctor engaged in social service.”
The way Supreme court has gone out of the way to grant bail is pretty disturbing as we find that this very Apex court has earlier rejected the bail plea of Binayak Sen in December 2007. The Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhan and D K Jain had rejected the contention of Sen’s defence counsel that there was no evidence to suggest that he was involved in naxal activities.The bench had then dismissed the petition stating that “sorry, we do not agree with you.” It’s really surprising that now Supreme court has taken such a liberal stand against a person who is guilty of acting as a courier between dangerous minds like Sanyal. It preferred not to give strong reasons why it felt that way other than posing awkward questions to prosecution. The verdict dangerously paves the way for treating a co-accused as simply “sympathisers”.
One needs to anticipate this present judgment very consciously. This is very discouraging for all the people who are involved in war against the anti-India elements. This is not a way to fight war with the wrong elements. One need not to provide oxygen to wrong forces in anyway. Let’s have the guts to call a spade a spade. Let’s expose and punish the people disguised as gentlemen but in reality are the agents of Satan(devil). The decision of Chhattisgarh government to pursue this case seriously is, indeed, a heartening news.