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News18 » Videos » News18 Shorts

Jurists, activists slam Binayak Sen verdict

Dec 25, 2010 11:15 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: It’s the verdict which has left many across India completely shocked. Dr Binayak Sen being pronounced guilty by a Raipur Sessions Court has left human rights activists, leading jurists and writers appalled. A travesty of justice: That is how leading human rights defenders, activists and jurists have greeted the verdict of the Raipur sessions court which held Dr Binayak Sen guity of sedition and sentenced him to life. Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General, finds the judgement shocking and has questioned the validity of life imprisonment for the doctoer. He says, “I think the judgement is shocking. After all Binayak Sen has a fine record. The evidence against him seems flimsy. The judge has misapplied the section. And in any case the sentence is atrocious, savage.” Amnesty International, which called Dr Binayak Sen a prisoner of ‘conscience’, has slammed the verdict. In a strong statement it said, “The life sentence handed down against Dr Binayak Sen by a court in the India state of Chhattisgarh violates international fair trial standards. Life in prison is an unusually harsh sentence for anyone, much less for an internationally recognized human rights defender who has never been charged with any act of violence.” Several organisations have joined hands to protest against the verdict. “We have people in this country who have robbed the country of crores of rupees. And somebody who has worked amongst the poor for so many years of his life gets life imprisonment “, said Anand Patwardhan, documentary filmmaker. While there has been no official reaction from the state of Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh has always said that the law will take its own course and has left it entirely to the court. Congress also echoes similar sentiments. Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “It is irresponsible to dismiss the verdict as if we are some kind of a banana republic." It is said that Dr Binayak Sen was shocked when the judge held him guilty for sedition. The harsh sentence of life imprisonment was a double blow. But as he spends his Christmas within the walls of the Raipur jail, his supporters outside are already rallying together, bracing for another round of battle.

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