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Democracy must draw a line, says SC
NEW DELHI, Apr 16 (Agencies):
Published on 16 Apr. 2011 11:10 PM IST
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After the Supreme Court ordered the release of human rights activist Binayak Sen on bail, Sen’s counsel and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani said the trial court was guided by the colonial concept of sedition and its judgment violated at least two Supreme Court judgments enunciating what constituted sedition.
The bench picked up from where Jethmalani left. When Chhattisgarh’s counsel and senior advocate U U Lalit attempted to justify the sedition charge by reading out printed material seized from Sen’s possession, the court said, “Is the nature of evidence such that it could attract a conviction and life sentence?
We are a democratic country. We must draw a line. He might be a sympathizer. But it does not amount to sedition. We are going on admitted facts as per prosecution case. Does it connect him with Naxalite violence? Does it mean he has committed sedition?”
Lalit pointed out the seditious nature of the literature recovered from Sen. He said these pro-Naxal pamphlets exhorted people to wage war against the government.
It did not impress the bench. It said, “These documents are available widely. These are general documents and could be available with anyone. How do you fasten sedition charge for this?
If Gandhi’s autobiography is found in the house of a person, it will not make him a Gandhian.”

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