Apex court notice to Chhattisgarh on Binayak associate’s bail (Lead)

May 24th, 2011 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to the Chhattisgarh government on a bail petition by Piyush Guha alias Bubun, an associate of doctor-activist Binayak Sen.

A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad asked the state government to respond to Guha’s petition by May 31.

Guha, a Kolkata businessman, was convicted of acting as a courier, carrying letters written by top Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal, charged in many cases including the October 2003 attack on then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and the November 2005 jailbreak in Bihar’s Jehanabad. The letters were allegedly given to him by Sen.

Sanyal, currently lodged in Bilaspur central prison, was arrested from Raipur in December 2005 and initially kept in Raipur jail.

Guha’s petition says that there was no evidence on the record to show that he had met Sen at any point of time or taken letters from him.

The apex court was told that the prosecution case that Guha was in conspiracy with Sanyal and Sen to transmit the letters was not only improbable but impossible to substantiate.

Appearing for Guha, senior counsel Prashant Bhushan said the petitioner had already undergone four years of imprisonment. Though Chhattishgarh Police says that it arrested him on May 6, 2007 from Railway Station Road in Raipur, but he contended that he was abducted by state police from Mahendra Hotel on May 1, 2007.

The petition says that Guha had made an oral complaint of his illegal detention by the police before the metropolitan magistrate when he was brought before the court May 7, 2007. The magistrate recorded the complaint.

The court was told that Guha was engaged in a small business of supplying bidi leaves to a bidi manufacturing factory in West Bengal and in this connection, he regularly visited Raipur to source the supply of bidi leaves.

According to Chhattisgarh Police, Guha was in possession of three letters, two in English and one in Bengali, allegedly written by Sanyal and given to him by Sen. Other incriminating material was also seized from him.

Convicted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for being involved in conspiracy to commit sedition, providing assistance to banned Maoist outfit Communist Party of India-Maoist and its leaders and other provision of Indian Penal Code, Guha’s plea for bail, along with that of Sen, was rejected by the Chhattisgarh High Court Feb 10, 2011.

Sen had appealed against the high court verdict in the apex court and was granted bail April 15, 2011.

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