SC says no case of sedition against Binayak Sen, grants bail

Judges say sympathising with Naxalites, or possessing agitational leaflets does not amount to sedition

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today granted bail to Binayak Sen, the public health specialist who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court for sedition and helping Naxalites to set up a network to fight the State.

The Court said it was giving no reason for granting bail to the 61-year-old health activist and left it to the satisfaction of the trial court concerned to impose the conditions for his release on bail, PT reports.

Judges HS Bedi and CK Prasad passed the order on a petition moved by Mr Sen, challenging the order of the Chhattisgarh High Court denying him bail.
During the hearing, the judges observed, "We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathiser (of Naxalites), but it did not make him guilty of sedition. He is a sympathiser. Nothing beyond that." The judges made this statement after going through the affidavit filed by the Chhattisgarh government opposing the bail application.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who represented Mr Sen, had submitted that the State was unable to point out any misconduct on the part of the medical activist.
The judges also said that all the statements made by the state have no relevance. They said that documents and evidence produced by the state government, which included many meetings with co-accused Piyush Guha in jail and that pamphlets and documents relating to Maoist activities were recovered from his possession, did not mean that he was involved in seditious activities.

Senior advocate UU Lalit, who appeared on behalf of the state government, said no case was made out for bail and he submitted that the activities of Mr Sen must be seen in a broader perspective.

When the judges asked Mr Lalit how Mr Sen's activities were connected to the offence of sedition, the government's counsel said, "My case has been accepted by the trial court and the apex court has only to consider whether he can be granted bail or not."
When the judges asked Mr Lalit if there were any documents backing the charge of sedition, the counsel said Mr Sen visited the jail and exchanged documents with Mr Guha and others. But this did not satisfy the judges, who said, "Visitors are screened and searched by the jail staff when they go and meet the inmates. The jailors are there to oversee all these things. So the question of passing letters or documents doesn't arise."

"The worst can be said that he was found in possession of general documents (relating to Naxal activities), but how can it be said that such possession would attract the charge of sedition? How can you put the charge of sedition?" the judges asked.

Granting bail to Mr Sen, the judges said, "We are concerned with the implementation of the judgement as even no case of sedition is made out."


Goldman Sachs gets RBI nod for primary dealership biz

Reserve Bank of India has authorised Goldman Sachs to undertake primary dealership business in the country’s government debt market from 18 April 2011

The Reserve Bank of India today authorised Goldman Sachs to undertake primary dealership business in the country's government debt market from 18 April 2011.

"The RBI has authorised Goldman Sachs (India) Capital Markets Private Limited to undertake primary dealer business with effect from Monday, April 18, 2011," the apex bank said in a release.

Primary dealers are banks, brokers, dealers or other financial institutions that deals in government securities.

In India, Goldman Sachs operates out of offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and is into investment banking, global investment research, operations and technology practices.


Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund launches 370 days fixed maturity plan

Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund new issue closes on 18th April

Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched Kotak FMP Series 44 (370 Days), a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate returns through investments in debt and money market instruments with a view to significantly reduce the interest rate risk. The scheme will invest in debt and money market securities, maturing on or before maturity of the scheme. The tenor of the plan is 370 days.

The new issue closes on 18th April. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. Deepak Agrawal and Abhishek Bisen are the fund managers. The benchmark index of the scheme shall be CRISIL Short Term Bond Index.


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