25 May 2009, 1150 hrs IST
The Supreme Court on Monday (May 25) ordered the release of prominent civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who is lodged in a Chhattisgarh jail for the past two years. A vacation bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Deepak Verma ordered Sen's release on his submitting a personal bond to the satisfaction of the local trial court.
A prominent PUCL leader, Sen was arrested by the Chhattisgarh police for allegedly colluding with certain Naxalite leaders in their activities, a charge denied by him.Earlier, Supreme Court agreed to grant urgent hearing on Monday to a bail petition filed by Sen.
Supreme Court Vacation Bench said the matter will be listed for hearing on May 25 after senior advocate Shanti Bhushan mentioned Sen's petition in which a notice was issued to the Chhattisgarh government on May 4. When the notice was issued, the apex court had asked the state government to provide medical aid to Sen, who has been suffering from heart ailment.Sen, who has been in custody since May 14, 2007, has contended that there was no evidence against him to be booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The Chhattisgarh Government has accused Sen, who is the vice-president of the People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), of acting as a courier for an alleged Naxalite who is in jail. He has also sought bail on medical grounds, saying that he had been suffering from a heart ailment and needs treatment at the Christian Medical College, Vellore in Tamil Nadu. Sen, a doctor by profession, has sought bail on the ground that the chargesheet against him has already been filed and he has remained in jail during the investigation of the case registered against him.