Bhopal, January 01 (Pervez Bari): The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has vehemently condemned the conviction of rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced by a Raipur court to life imprisonment for sedition recently.
SDPI national General Secretary A. Sayeed in a statement said that the judgment is outrageous as it is based on weak evidence and it has made a travesty of justice. It appears that the fundamental right of freedom of expression has been held equal as terrorism. Carrying letters and handing it over to somebody else is not a strong ground to convict someone, he argued.
The statement said Sen is absolutely innocent and worked for the betterment of poor people in Chhattishgarh for which he was given the globally recognized Jonathan Mann award. A situation has been created where definition of anti-national and doing something for the greater common good are completely conflicted and corrupted. Those who resort to armed struggle have of course to be dealt with, but giving a life sentence to someone for carrying letters is morally unacceptable, the statement added.
Sedition laws suited the British government's attempts to weaken and demoralize the Indian struggle for freedom. Such laws should have no place in a free and democratic country. A democratically elected government should feel more secure and less threatened by dissent or by populist struggles, the statement pointed out.
Sayeed said it is heartening to note that prominent lawyer Ram Jethmalani has offered to defend Sen in higher judiciary if he (Sen) seeks his professional assistance. His reported stand that he did not find it contradictory to fight the case and be a BJP MP should be welcomed. Jethmalani also reportedly said: "I do not believe in party line. No party line says that lawyers should not appear for some people".
Sayeed hoped that the wrong done to Sen would be undone when the higher judiciary takes up the case on appeal. The higher courts would see reasons and declare the lower court decision as null and void and set Sen free from confinement at the