Tag Archives: We Are All Seditious

An index of incompetence

One of the issues that the Binayak Sen trial has revealed is the quality of the investigative process in the case and the nonchalance with which the police has flouted even routine guidelines, safeguards and rules.

In a series of “reaction interviews” I did after the verdict came out, Ajai Sahni called the investigative process  “an index of the incompetence of the Chhattisgarh police.”

But, as an editorial in the The Hindu notes, an

“email referring to an occupant of the White House as a “chimpanzee” was introduced by the prosecutor as evidence of the kind of “code language” terrorists resort to. But tragically, it is the Chhattisgarh police that have had the last laugh in this round.”

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The Trial: State of Chhattisgarh versus Pijush Guha, Binayak Sen and Narayan Sanyal

bbc.co.uk

On Christmas Eve, the Raipur Sessions court delivered a surprisingly harsh sentence in the case of The State of Chhattisgarh versus Pijush Guha, Binayak Sen and Narayan Sanyal, where B.P. Verma sentenced all three to life imprisonment for “conspiring to commit sedition.”

This latest ruling on a sedition case isn’t so much about the narrowing of the space of expression in India (there are far more illustrative cases here, here and here) but more about the wide  application of the sedition law to convict when the supporting evidence is questioned by the defence.

Prosecution teams seem to have figured out that in cases involving “Maoist issues” – a poor investigation can easily be supported by planting “seditious” documents and pushing for sedition.

Through the course of this post, I shall try to collate some my coverage over the last two weeks to give you all a sense of how the trial proceeded. As always, I this piece serves as a starting point for further discussions. I would urge readers to post comments with links to articles that they found interesting (along with their own thoughts of course).

Continue reading The Trial: State of Chhattisgarh versus Pijush Guha, Binayak Sen and Narayan Sanyal