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Updated: December 16, 2010 02:20 IST

Unsigned letter holds the key to Binayak Sen case

Aman Sethi
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Binayak Sen.
Binayak Sen.

A smooth, creaseless type-written sheet of paper might prove to be the decisive piece of evidence in the trial of celebrated doctor and activist Binayak Sen. ‘Article 37' (A-37) is an unsigned letter urging Dr. Sen to send a fact-finding mission to probe alleged police atrocities in Chhattisgarh in his capacity as the State president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties.

The prosecution insists that the document proves Dr. Sen was in direct correspondence with the banned CPI (Maoist). The defence believes that the letter is the clearest indication that the Chhattisgarh police fabricated evidence to frame Dr. Sen.

In May 2005, Dr. Sen was accused of acting as courier between alleged Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Pijush Guha, charged with aiding a terrorist organisation, sedition and waging war against the government of India, and imprisoned for two years before getting bail. His house was searched soon after his arrest, and the nature of the documents recovered by the police formed the basis of the case against him.

“A-37 is not mentioned in the seizure memo prepared by the police after the search,” said defence counsel Surinder Singh in court on Wednesday, “It is also not mentioned in the challan and doesn't carry the signature of either Dr. Sen or the investigating officer.” The prosecution has maintained that when Dr. Sen's house was searched, all articles were signed by Dr. Sen, Investigating officer B.B. Rajpoot and two independent witnesses. So why wasn't A-37 signed?

“It is the sole piece of documentary evidence that directly links Dr. Sen to the Maoists, Mr. Singh said, “It was supposedly mailed to Dr. Sen two years ago but it has no creases, no marks. It has been prepared by the police and subsequently inserted along with the other articles.”

In their testimonies, policemen B.B. Rajpoot and B.S. Jagrit suggested that the police might have “forgotten” to sign the letter and enter it in the seizure memo, or that the letter might have been inadvertently missed among the items recovered from Dr. Sen's house. However, Mr. Singh wondered how the two independent witnesses remembered to sign it.

Mr. Singh drew the court's attention to the fact that the police sent copies of the seized documents to the prosecution and defence lawyers. “Our copies only bear the signatures of Dr. Sen and Mr. Rajpoot, and have not been signed by the witnesses. Yet the documents submitted in court have all four signatures,” said Mr. Singh, “This suggests that the witnesses did not sign the documents at the time they were seized, but signed them at a later stage after the documents were supposedly sealed.”

I am proud that I am Indian. I can't compare India to China even in worst of my dreams. Let the law take its own course. No need to interfere in the middle. India already made a huge mistake by not punishing Kasab and Afzal Guru. These brain-washed massacred hundreds in the name of religion. But still we are waiting for justice. Suppose, if this is a case of poor Indian who have no religious backup and publicity, he must have sentenced within the next month. Its so paining to learn that much publicized culprits are successfully evading the law. Law makers need to re-exam these kind of cases.

from:  Dr. Anil
Posted on: Dec 26, 2010 at 08:34 IST

All of the sudden I feel less proud in saying I am an Indian... Where is the India which the Mahatma gave us??

from:  Dr.Aby Simon
Posted on: Dec 24, 2010 at 19:07 IST

We are worse than China, since they at least declare themselves a non-democratic state where speech is limited by state.

from:  abhimanyu
Posted on: Dec 22, 2010 at 15:17 IST

The way justice is being perverted in the case of Dr.Binayak Sen is disgraceful. All attention should be focused by Media to bring the truth to the people unclouded by political views.

from:  Prem Chandran, Shefield
Posted on: Dec 20, 2010 at 18:53 IST

The intention of Prosecution is complete wrong and seemed to be biased against Human Right Activists as well his organisation, PUCL. Police and Prosecution are wasting their time against innocent peoples and human right activists across nation. They are working only on the wishes of their political master, who general have criminal backgrounds.

from:  Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana
Posted on: Dec 16, 2010 at 10:46 IST
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