By Ipshita Mitra:
In another outrageous case of miscarriage of justice, the recent life sentence awarded to the noted Physician and Professor turned human rights activist, Dr. Binayak Sen, by the Raipur Court has reinstated the fact that the Indian Government exercises its iron hand only on those who attempt to resist and raise a voice against the tyrannical laws and policies of the state. With an absolute disregard for the norms of the logistics of judicial ethics, Dr. Sen was found guilty under the foundation-less and evidence-absent charges of a) sedition and b) conspiring to wage war against the state under Sections 120(B) and 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 8(1), (2), (3), and (5) of the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, and Section 39 (2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (as amended in 2004).
It is indeed disappointing to discern that the degree of judicial punishment credited to perpetrators of sexual crime, scammers and mass murderers is far less severe in juxtaposition with the recent judgment decreed against a man who could have lived a comfortable life and derived a decent form of livelihood income, had he continued with his profession of curative service; but his voluntary step into the realm of human welfare as a spokesman of the voiceless and the marginalised in the godforsaken region of Chhattisgarh, welcomed him with the draconian manifestation of cruelty of the State’s authoritarian regime.
Dr. Binayak Sen is not the only example in this regard however. Earlier in the year 2010, a Delhi University Professor, Sunil Mandiwal was arrested, interrogated for more than two hours on account of his suspected links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoists). His Communist ideology (in possession of Maoist Literature) and his association with a friend named Krishna Rao from Hyderabad were some of the ‘legitimate’ pretexts upon which he had been declared a ‘Maoist sympathiser’ with an alleged secretive connection with Maoist leader ‘Krishna Rao,’ (alias Murthy).
Similar flimsy grounds have cast doubts on Dr. Sen’s integrity and character; an innocuous email sent to the Director of the Indian Social Institute (Delhi), which happened to share an acronym with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate was enough to falsely implicate him (on grounds of illegal communication with the ‘dreaded’ ISI) leading to his subsequent trial and incarceration. His supposed ‘relationship’ with Narayan Sanyal, an alleged leader of the Maoist, convicted Binayak Sen of committing an act of betrayal against the ‘sanctity’ of the State. He was dragged to the docks because he was believed to have developed ties with the Maoist forces in their attempt to threaten the edifice of ‘internal security’ of the nation. It is indeed ironic and kind of hilarious to imagine how an individual can pose threat to a nation, the government of which deploys forces like the Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt in its supposed endeavour to ‘restore peace’ and tranquillity in a Maoist-infested Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh. Innumerable cases of sexual assault and hoarding of food items had been registered post the stationing of the above paramilitary forces by the government. The tussle between the state forces and the rebels subjected the poor tribes to violence and destruction.
The above two instances establish how far we have, as a nation, worked towards the erosion of democracy and justice in our greedy desire to grab lands of natural resources from the powerless mute tribal society for fulfilling corporate agendas of industrialised economic growth.
Development of a nation can never be examined within the strict boundaries of the quantitative GDP and GNP growth but has to be analysed within a wider horizon of equally important social factors of living condition of humanity.
The verdict that has been pronounced by the Chhattisgarh Court needs to be evaluated and scrutinised thoroughly to arrive at a concrete and relevant decision. Framing people, intellectuals, academicians and activists on questionable status of evidence should not define the judicial apparatus as a body working in nexus with the unjust ideology of the state and the police as that will only represent a tainted and a feeble image of the judiciary, dancing as a puppet in the hands of the influential and the privileged section of society.
A judicial body should be impartial, discreet, prudent and stringent in its dissemination and deliverance of justice.