As the civil rights activists raise the tempo of their campaign against Binayak Sen's conviction for sedition, home minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday emphasised that the only way to "correct" an unsatisfactory judgement was to go for appeal.
Binayak Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment on a charge of sedition by a Chhattisgarh court.
Civil rights activists and noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Sen's family have questioned the motives of the judge in convicting him on insufficient evidence, arguing that he could not have been convicted of sedition when there was no evidence of Sen having incited violence.
"Binayak Sen has been convicted by a court of law. That judgement according to many is unsatisfactory. It may be unsatisfactory, but the only way the judgement can be corrected is by filing an appeal," the home minister said.
Incidentally, the home ministry - that had examined the possibility of filing a case of sedition against writer Arundhati Roy last year for her controversial statements on J&K - had decided against the proposal since Roy did not incite violence.
Home ministry officials had cited the Supreme Court's 1962 ruling that laid down the minimum conditions that would have to be met to invoke the charge of sedition.
Responding to fears expressed by Binayak Sen's wife, Ilina, for her and her daughters' safety, Chidambaram said there was no need for her or the children to feel apprehensive.
"I am very sorry that she entertains such apprehensions… I intend to talk to the Chhattisgarh chief minister or wherever she is, and if she has any genuine apprehension and wants assistance, we will certainly provide it. There is no reason why Sen's family should feel apprehensive."