Binayak Sen after being released in Raipur on Monday. (PTI)
Raipur, April 18: Binayak Sen (61) walked out of Raipur Central Jail this evening to warm hugs from his mother, wife, daughters and close friends, three days after a landmark Supreme Court judgment in his favour.
A frail looking Sen, clad in trademark kurta-pyjama, told the jostling reporters he was “happy to be released” and would continue to work for the welfare of the tribals and the dispossessed.
Anusuya, Sen’s octogenarian mother, who had come alone from Calcutta and reached Raipur this evening, said she was “emotionally spellbound”. “I am very very happy today. I wish everybody should be happy as I am this evening. We hugged each other. No words came out. I kissed him,” she added.
The rights activist was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of passing letters between the imprisoned Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Calcutta-based businessman Piyush Guha, as well as being an alleged sympathiser of the radical group. The judgment passed by additional district and sessions judge of Raipur B.P. Varma on December 24 last year also awarded life sentences to Sanyal and Guha. After his bail plea was rejected in Chhattisgarh High Court in February, Sen moved to Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had strongly rubbished grounds for Sen’s conviction. “No case of sedition is made out against him and the evidence is baseless,” said the bail order of judges H.S. Bedi and C.K. Prasad.
“Distribution and circulation and even possession of (Maoist ideology and propaganda material) does not amount to sedition,” the court said.
The apex court on Friday gave bail to Sen and left its conditions under the discretion of the trial court.
Ilina, Sen’s wife, their daughters Aparajita and Pranhita, close family friends and other rights activists reached Raipur this morning with the certified copy of the apex court judgment, submitted the document at the high court and waited for the announcement of the bail’s conditions.
Around 3.30pm, additional district and sessions Judge B.P. Verma announced bail conditions, including a bailer-bond of Rs 50,000 and equal amount of surety. Sen was asked to surrender his passport and directed not to leave the country without the permission of the trial court.
Sen had also been asked to appear in person at all the hearings.
“We were aware of the formalities and carried all required documents and the bailer,” Kavita Srivastava, rights activist and family friend of the Sens, said.