Taking exception to the criticism of the trial court verdict against rights activist Binayak Sen sentenced to life imprisonment for sedition , Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said such utterances could influence the judiciary and create "confusion".
He said one must "bow down" before the verdict unless it is set aside by a higher court. "Persons who have held very responsible position in the judiciary, they will have to consider that their statements can tomorrow influence the mind of a judge or a magistrate. He will think that a former judge of a High Court or the Supreme court or a Chief Justice is commenting upon this, then should I give a judgement. To that extent, it may influence the independent mind of a judge, which will not be fair. It will not be just," Moily told reporters in New Delhi.
He said their statements will "create an atmosphere of indifference and cause hesitation in the mind of a judge."
Refusing to comment on the merits or the demerits of the judgement, Moily said the right course is to take the matter before the next court of appeal. "That's the right course...former judges and other people in particular...the course of justice cannot be influenced from outside," he said.
Sen, Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata based businessman Piyush Guha were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Raipur court on December 24 for sedition and colluding with Maoists to establish a network to fight the state.
Sen, a paediatrician by training, was accused by the prosecution of carrying messages and letters from Sanyal to Maoists. Guha was also found involved in helping Maoists establish a network. An activist of the People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Sen was arrested on May 14, 2007 from Bilaspur.