IANS | Yahoo News | 24/01/2011
An-eight member delegation of the European Union (EU) is expected to arrive in Bilaspur town Monday to attend a bail plea of rights activist Binayak Sen that is to be heard by the Chhattisgarh High Court. The EU delegation members who landed Sunday night in state capital Raipur amid protests of ‘Go Back’ by some local groups left for Bilaspur town Monday by car to attend the hearing. The high court is based in Bilaspur town, 110 km from here.
Sen, 60, who is a People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) leader, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a district and sessions court in Raipur Dec 24 on sedition charges and his links with Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal. The court verdict has been widely slammed by human right activists in India and abroad who say he was victimised by the Chhattisgarh government for highlighting human right abuses.
Sources say that eminent lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Ram Jethmalani will be present before a division bench on behalf of Sen even as his party, which is in power in the state since December 2003, has strongly objected to the foreign observers’ presence.
‘Foreign observers have no role to play in Sen’s case, their arrival here is a direct interference in the Indian judiciary system. It has never happened in India that foreign observers attended court to monitor a case, it must be condemned in the strongest terms,’ state BJP president Ram Sewak Paikra told IANS over phone.