The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad on Monday booked Ilina Sen, wife of jailed rights activist Binayak Sen, for not informing the police about the arrival of several foreign nationals for a convention she organised. Meanwhile, the hearing of her husband’s bail plea in the Chhattisgarh high court is set to continue on Tuesday.
The foreigners had come to attend a three-day convention in Wardha, about 80 km from Nagpur.
Ilina has been under close police watch for spearheading a campaign to free Binayak Sen, who was convicted by a Raipur sessions court on December 24 and sentenced to life on sedition charges over his links with Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal.
In Raipur, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani argued forcefully for more than two hours at the hearing of Binayak Sen’s bail plea, asserting that there was no substantive evidence to prove that he had committed any offence that comes under the purview of sedition.
Jethmalani told a division bench of Justice TP Sharma and Justice RL Jhanwar that the trial court’s conviction was based solely on police version.
“The letter which was seized by the police did not have anything objectionable written,” argued the senior lawyer, who is also a Rajya Sabha member.
Referring to the 60-year-old rights activist’s arrest on May 14, 2007 under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, Jethmalani said, “A petition challenging the validity of the Act is still pending for consideration before the high court.”
An eight-member European Union delegation was also present in the court to attend the hearing. They, however, refused to speak to the media saying the hearing would commence on Tuesday.
The EU in its statement has expressed concern about the conditions pertaining to the detention of Binayak Sen.