Two of the three accused are still imprisoned
Nearly four years after the celebrated doctor and activist Binayak Sen was arrested on charges of aiding the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and conspiring to overthrow the Indian state, the prosecution began its final arguments.
The State of Chhattisgarh sought to prove that Piyush Guha, Binayak Sen and Narayan Sanyal had actively conspired to assist the urban operations of the CPI (Maoist), a guerrilla party committed to the overthrow of the state.
The prosecution claims that Kolkata-based businessman and alleged Maoist Piyush Guha was arrested on May 6, 2007 and found to be in possession of Maoist publications and three letters purportedly written in jail by alleged Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal, and delivered to him by Dr. Sen.
While Dr. Sen was incarcerated for two years before finally getting bail, Mr. Guha and Mr. Sanyal continue to be imprisoned.
In his final arguments, prosecutor T.C. Pandiya tried to independently link Mr. Guha to Dr. Sen, and Dr. Sen to Mr. Sanyal, to establish the conspiracy. He first cited the testimonies of witness Deepak Chaubey, who deposed that in 2004 he had rented his house to Mr. Sanyal on the recommendation of Dr. Sen, to suggest that Dr. Sen had found a haven for Mr. Sanyal. Dr. Sen has denied Chaubey's allegations.
The link between Dr. Sen and Mr. Guha is based on the deposition of witness Anil Kumar Singh. Police claim to have arrested Mr. Guha on May 6 near the Raipur railway station. However, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on November 23, 2009, investigating officer S.S. Rajpoot has submitted that Mr. Guha was in fact arrested at Hotel Mahindra, in Raipur. Mr. Guha has stated that he was arrested on May 1 from the hotel and illegally detained for five days before his arrest was made public.
The prosecution's case is supported by witness Anil Singh, who claims to have been present when the police arrested Mr. Guha. Singh has signed the seizure memo, affirming the police's recovery of 10 articles from Mr. Guha's possessions.
On cross-examination, Singh has admitted that he has signed against only three of the 10 items allegedly discovered in Mr. Guha's bag. The remaining seven articles have been signed by policemen B.S. Jagrit and Ravindra Upadhyay. Singh also deposed that Mr. Upadhyay wrote out the seizure memo, which he, Singh, subsequently signed. This was contradicted by B.S. Jagrit, who testified that the he had written out the seizure memo himself. The police are also unable to explain why Mr. Guha's arrest memo makes no mention of the 10 seized articles.
The prosecution also referred to the testimonies of hotel owner Suresh Chand Yadu. The police had claimed that Mr. Yadu saw Dr. Sen visit Mr. Guha while the latter was staying at Hotel Geetanjali. However, Mr. Yadu subsequently turned hostile, stating that he never saw anyone visit Mr. Guha during his stay at the hotel. Prosecutor Pandiya stated that while the witness had turned hostile, his statements still indicated a link between Dr. Sen and Mr. Guha.
The arguments shall continue on Monday.