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PUCL, July 2007

Analysis of the case against Dr. Binayak Sen

UPDATE On Dr. Binayak Sen's Illegal Detention: Raipur, 21st July, 2007 (Saturday) Dr. Binayak Sen's ail hering concluded

(Reserved for Order)

Dr. Binayak Sen's Bail Application was heard on Friday the 20th July 2007 at the Chhattisgarh High Court, Bilaspur. The Hon'ble Justice Sunil Kumar Sinha has reserved it for orders, after hearing both the parties for almost two hours. Adv Kanak Tiwari, Senior Counsel appeared for Dr. Sen, assisted by Adv Prashant Mishra, Adv Sudha Bhardwaj, Adv Vimlesh Bajpai. Additional Advocate General, Mr. Deepak Verma appeared for the State.

A large number of social workers, human rights activists and people's organisations were present during the hearing in the Court. Prominent among them are: Dr. Yogesh Jain and Dr. Ramni (Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Ganiyari),Com. Sheikh Ansar, (Vice-President, CMM), Mr. Bishelal, Mr. Santosh Das, Mr.Chagan, Mr. Nakul Sahu, Mr. Kalyan Patel (CMM), Mr. Basant Sahu,(Member, Executive Committee, CG-PUCL), Adv Rajendra K Sail (President, CG PUCL).

A gist of the arguments is given below just to provide an insight into the dynamics of the State pursuing the policy of repression, falsely implicating social workers and manufacturing evidences.

Rajendra K Sail, President

A GIST OF THE ARGUMENTS!

(In Dr. Binayak Sen's Bail Matter at the Bilaspur High Court)

(This gist is prepared based on the notes taken by Adv Rajendra K Sail, President, Chhattisgarh PUCL, and may be found lacking at some level. However, this provides an insight into the nature and content of the arguments within the Court. However, we are requesting Adv Kanak Tiwari, Senior Advocate representing Dr. Binayak Sen to kindly provide us with a copy of the written arguments.)

During the hearing in the Bail matter of Dr. Binayak Sen on 20th July 2007 at Bilaspur, the State mentioned three sets of evidence.

One, three letters (two in English, and one in Bengali) recovered from Mr. Piyush Guha (according to the police arrested on 6th May 2007 from the Railway Station, but according to the statement made by him in front of the CJM on 1st May 2007), purportedly written by Mr. Narayan Sanyal (according to the police, a Master-mind belonging to the CPI- Maoists, and lodged in Raipur Central Jail since 6th April 2006). According to the statement of Piyush Guha, these letters were passed on to him by Dr. Binayak Sen, who has been meeting Mr. Narain Sanyal in Jail.

Two, the cds and documents seized from the house of Dr. Binayak Sen during the search conducted on 19th May 2007. (Please See Annexure I)

Three, regarding the CPU of the computer seized and taken for analysis to Hyderabad, the State said that it had received only the preliminary report, and the material was still being analysed.

In addition to the above, the State mentioned a report from the SP of Rajnandgaon. According to it, the Maoists had left behind their belongings after an encounter in Rajnandgaon. Dr. Binayak Sen and Ilina Sen appeared in one of the letters written by the Maoists. Similar report had been submitted by the SP of Dangewara district.

Adv Kanak Tiwari took almost one-and-a-half- hours to present the case on behalf of Dr. Binayak Sen. In addition to his credentials as the key office-bearers of a prestigious human rights organisation, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which was committed to "non-violence" and "peaceful methods", several press statements were produced in the Court, where Dr. Binayak Sen, as the General Secretary of Chhattisgarh PUCL, had not only condemned the violence and killings by the Maoists, but appealed to the State and Maoists to end the military action, and find a political solution to the problems through negotiations and dialogue.

Adv Tiwari also argued that the provisions of the draconian laws like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) and the UAPA, 1967 (2004) were deliberately invoked against Dr. Binayak Sen, as he was, in his capacity as the office-bearer of PUCL, leading a concerted campaign for their repeal, exposing the fake encounters, and custodial deaths, in which the State and the police were found to be the key culprits. Several such reports, statements and documents were produced in the Court.

With regard to Dr. Sen's association with Mr. Naryan Sanyal in the Raipur Central Jail, it was categorically pointed out by Adv Kanak Tiwari that such meetings took place as per the Jail Manuel, where he was searched both at the point of entry before and after the meetings, and the meetings took place in presence of the Jailer. That the letters allegedly seized from Mr. Piyush Guha have no dates, no names and also the contents (as read out in the Court) had no incriminating material against Dr. Sen. That Dr. Sen met Mr. Sanyal in Jail only to provide him medical and legal assistance.

Adv Tiwari also pointed out that Mr. Narayan Sanyal, whose letters Dr.Sen is alleged to have carried out from Jail, was charged under the CSPSA and UAPA only on 19th June 2007 (after he was in the custody of the Chhattisgarh State Police for 15 months), that too after Dr. Sen's Bail Application was filed in the Chhattisgarh High Court, and when this fact was highlighted that Mr. Sanyal has not been made an accused in the case. That Mr. Sanyal has not been declared to be a member of a banned organisation under the CSPSA since 6th April 2006 till 18th June 2007. That the State Government had issued a notification only on 12th April 2006 under the CSPSA declaring six organisations as banned organizations under the draconian law. Thus, to charge Dr. Sen (and even Mr. Piyush Guha) under these draconian laws for carrying his letters was totally illegal, and arose out of the state's vendetta against the human rights activists and organisations which were bringing to public light several crimes committed by the state against its own citizens.

Adv Kanak Tiwari also brought to the notice of the Court the fact that Mr. Narayan Sanyal was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police on 3rd January 2006 from Raipur and charged under UAPA, along with other sections of the Cr.P.C. However, the AP police did not file a charge-sheet in the case, and the Hon'ble Court released Mr. Sanyal on 6th April, 2006, the day the Chhattisgarh Police brought him in a murder case in Dantewara district. All along these days of his detention, Mr. Sanyal was not charged under either the CSPSA or UAPA, while the Chhattisgarh police kept claiming that Mr. Sanyal was a master-mind of the CPI (Maoists). It is pertinent to note that Mr. Sanyal was charged under these draconian laws only on 19th of June, 2007, when the Bail Application was filed by Dr. Binayak Sen in the Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur.

Even the post card recovered from Dr. Binayak Sen's house on 19th May, purportedly written by Mr. Narayan Sanyal from Raipur Central Jail, it was to be noted that the same bears the official seal of the jail authorities and in which Mr. Sanyal informed Dr. Sen about his deteriorating health, and also enquires about the status of his Bail Matter from his lawyer, Adv Bhishm Kinger. The other documents, cds and literature seized from Dr. Sen's house (claimed to "Naxalite Literature" by the police) are nothing but registered publications easily available like the Magazine named PEOPLE'S MARCH.

Several citations were also offered by Adv Kanak Tiwari in support of his arguments.

After hearing the arguments of both sides, the Hon'ble Justice Sunil Kumar Sinha has reserved the orders. It is expected that the same will be delivered the next week.

ANNEXURE I: LIST OF THE SEIZED DOCUMENTS FROM DR. BINAYAK SEN'S HOUSE:

Although the police was claiming in front of the media on 19th May 2007 immediately after the house search that they had found some significant documents, a copy of the seizure memo enlisting all the material exposes the "white lie" of the police. These are as follows:

1. Five CDs, mostly pertaining to the various investigations regarding Fake Encounters in Gollapalli, Katgaon, Surguja, and Jharkhand, which were made during the PUCL investigations, and contain interviews with the concerned citizens. PUCL has been distributing these for the last two years.

2. The Computer CPU, yet to be examined by experts;

3. A post-card dated 3.6.2006 written to Dr. Binayak Sen by the CPI (Maoist) leader, Sri Narayan Sanyal lodged at the Raipur Central Jail, regarding his health as well as legal case, which is duly signed by the Jail authorities carrying the Seal of the Jail Authorities;

4. News-paper clippings dated 19.6.2006, 8.4.2006, 27.8.2006, 26.12.2006, 21.8.2006, 8.1.2007, 21.12.2006 (Total 10 paper cuttings)

5. A Yellow coloured booklet "ON THE UNITY BETWEEN CPI (Peoples' War) AND MAOIST COMMUNIST CENTRE" in Hindi

6. A Letter written by Madanlal Banjare (a member of the CPI- Maoist) from Jail addressed to "Priya Comrade Binayak Sen" revealing the inhuman conditions and illegal activities in Raipur Central Jail.

(OUR NOTE: This letter was later sent to all newspapers and electronic media by the PUCL, and was prominently published in some newspapers);

7. A Xeroxed Article in English entitled: "Naxal Movement, Tribals and Women's Movement"

(OUR NOTE: This Article is based on a dialogue carried out in Andhra Pradesh during the period of the Peace Talks and was later published in the prestigious periodical Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai)

8. A hand written photocopied note of 4 pages on "How to build an Anti-US Imperialist Front.";

9. Eight page Article entitled: "KRANTIKARI JANWADI MORCHA (ITF) VAISHAVIKARAN AWAM BAHRTIYE SEVA KSHETRA; (Globalization and the Service Sector in India)

10. A recent document dated 18.7.06 of CPI (M) "Recent Police Activities and Labourers". B.10;

11. A Book on 'SALWA JUDUM :Bastar ki janata par Fasivadi hamla' published by the Committee of Tribals affected by Salwa Juroom (48 pages); in which on page number 41 is a Press Release Maowadiyon aur Bhautiki Jan Samsayayon par Jari Barbarta sarkaar prayojit Salwa Judum ka Virodh Karo dated 11th March 2006 ( One page);


People's Union for Civil Liberties, 81 Sahayoga Apartmrnts, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110091, India. Phone (91) 11 2275 0014