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Those who find Sen ruling unsatisfactory can go for appeal

New Delhi: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday expressed surprise over the statement made by wife of jailed rights activist Binayak Sen that she did not feel safe in the country and said "those who respect law must also respect the processes of law."

Answering questions about the judgement sentencing Sen to life imprisonment on sedition charges, Chidambaram said the judgement may be unsatisfactory for many people but the only way to "correct" it was by filing an appeal.

"Binayak Sen has been convicted by a court of law. That judgement according to many people is an unsatisfactory judgement. It may be unsatisfactory but the only way that judgement can be corrected is by filing an appeal," he said.

He said at the instance of Sen, "I persuaded the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh (Raman Singh) to ensure that the trial takes place at least few days a week. Earlier, it was taking place one day a month or one day in two weeks.

"So Binayak Sen expressed his happiness that the trial will now take place quickly. The trial has ended in a conviction. As I said it may be an unsatisfactory judgement but both as a lawyer and a minister, I want to tell everyone that the only way an unsatisfactory judgement can be corrected is by going in appeal. There is no other way," he said.

The Minister recalled what he had said when Srikrishna report on Telangana issue was submitted that those who respect democracy must also respect the processes of democracy and similarly "those who respect law must also respect the processes of law."

On being asked questions further on the same issue, he said, "I have not seen the evidence so I can`t comment on the judgement but if it is an unsatisfactory judgement as may make it out to be, I am sure it will be corrected in appeal."

On being asked about the apprehensions of Sen`s wife, he said, "as far as Mrs Sen`s apprehensions… I have read it in the newspapers. I am very sorry that she entertains such apprehensions.

"I intend to talk to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh or wherever she is, and if she has any genuine apprehension and if she wants assistance certainly we will provide assistance. There is no reason why Mrs Sen or any other member of her family should feel apprehensive in India."

Ilina Sen had claimed before media here yesterday that it appeared that the only recourse left to her is to seek political asylum in some "liberal" democratic country as she felt that her family is not safe in her own country.

"After the verdict, they are targeting me. I am concerned about my two daughters aged 25 years and 20 years. I am really worried about them.

"If the state government does not allow Sen to be freed, I will only get his dead body as life imprisonment means that he will be in jail till his end of life. I need to stay out. I would like to live my life fully…We have gone through colossal agony," Ilina had said.

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