FORWARDED APPEAL (India): Arrest of a prominent human rights activist over oppressive laws 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you this information below regarding the arrest and subsequent detention of a prominent human rights activist, Dr. Binayak Sen. Dr. Sen is the general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL – Chhattisgarh) and vice-president for PUCL National in India.

Dr. Sen was arrested and detained allegedly for violating the provisions of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967. The CSPSA do not provide any provision for remedy, like bail and appeal, for every person arrested under this law.

If you have any further questions please contact the PUCL in the contact details they provided below.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)



Post Box No. 87, Main Post Office, Raipur – 492001: Chhattisgarh
Press Release

Raipur, 14th May, 2007

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) – Chhattisgarh Unit has strongly condemned the police action in detaining Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL, and the Vice-President, National PUCL as a repressive act, as he was detained under the provisions of the highly controversial Black Laws: The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA), and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 having been amended in 2004 and made more stringent after the collapse of POTA. By failing to use the provisions of the well-established laws of the land like the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, the Chhattisgarh Police has already demonstrated its inherent bias and political motivation in arresting Dr. Binayak Sen under laws which do not carry out the provisions such a bail, appeal, etc.

It may be recalled that the provisions of the CSPSA provide for arbitrary detention with no remedy of appeal or review provided against such arbitrary powers and decisions that may be made by the District Magistrate. In fact, it goes even further by providing an ‘ouster of jurisdiction’ clause and providing that action under this Act by any officer authorized by the government for this purpose or by the District Magistrae shall not be questioned before any court.

Issuing a statement today, Adv Rajendra K Sail, President, Chhattisgarh PUCL has categorically stated that the PUCL had already apprehended such a repressive action against the human rights and social activists working for the civil liberties and people’s rights in Chhattisgarh, because the State Police Officials and Ministers had already threatened to use the CSPSA against the PUCL activists and social workers.  Even specific names that were prominently reported in the press as a result of Police Press Briefings like that of Dr. Binayak Sen, Adv Gautam Bandopadhyay of Nadi Ghati Morcha, Ms. Rashmi Dewedi of Baiga Mahapanchayat-Chhattisgarh, etc. Incidentally, Ms. Rashmi Dewedi is presently the Vice-President of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, and Adv Bandopadhyay is the former Executive Committee Member of the Chhattisgarh PUCL.

It may be noted that Dr. Binayak Sen was detained at the Tarbahar Police Station, Bilaspur in the afternoon, when he returned from Kolkotta after a fortnight’s leave. He was made a co-accused in the case of one Mr. Piyush Guha, (who was arrested illegally on 1st of May in the evening, but produced before the Magistrate only on 5th May, 2007) after the PUCL issued statement-expressing concern about his “abduction” by the police. The allegation that Dr. Binayak Sen had passed on letters to Mr. Piyush Guha written by the CPI (Maoist) leaders lodged at the Raipur Central Jail also needs serious consideration, as Dr. Sen met the inmates with the prior permission of the Superintendent of Police, Raipur, and in the presence and office of the Jailer, Raipur. If that be the case, the PUCL demands that the Jail officials be also made co-accused in the case.

The PUCL further demands that the search for the premises of Dr. Binayak Sen should be strictly carried out in accordance with the provisions of the law. It would be in the larger interest of the law that the same be done in the presence and with participation of independent witnesses to the police search, and the entire search proceedings be video-graphed.

The PUCL has decided to carry out a concerted campaign against this “repressive measure” taken by the Chhattisgarh Police, and take legal recourse to challenge the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005.

Raipur, 14th May, 2007 (19:00 Hrs)


Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL and Vice-President, National PUCL was arrested this afternoon, produced at the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bilaspur, and send to the Raipur Central Jail on Judicial Remand till 18th of May 2007.

It may be noted that Dr. Sen was arrested as a co-accused in the case of Mr. Piyush Guha, supposedly a messenger for Community Party of India (Maoist), under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (amended in 2004)

He was medically examined before producing him at the CJM Court. He told the Doctors about all his ailments, and was given the choice by the Court to be admitted in the Hospital, which was refused by Dr. Sen himself, who preferred to go the Jail.

Today only Dr. Sen returned from Kolkotta after a fortnight’s  rest and treatment. At about 1 pm, a policeman went to the office of Adv Sudha Bhardwaj, Member, Executive Committee, Chhattisgarh PUCL, and informed that the City Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur would like to record a statement. At this point, both Dr. Sen and Adv Bhardwaj went to the Tar Bahar Police Station, Bilaspur. They were then told that a police party was coming from Raipur for formal arrest. A police party led by Mr. B B S Rajpur, SSP (City), Raipur came along with others, and formally arrested him, sent him for medical examination and then produced him in the court of the CJM, Bilaspur.

It is expected that police would move further applications in the matter, like issuance of search warrant of his residence/premises, etc.

On behalf of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, an emergency meeting has been convened tomorrow at Raipur, in which future strategy and action plan would be chalked out. In the mean time, the Chhattisgarh PUCL office-bearers are in touch with the National PUCL for their guidance in the matter. Adv K G Kannabiran, National President, PUCL would be advising the lawyers in Chhattisgarh for appropriate action in the respective Courts.

Rajendra K Sail
(Mobile: 098268-04519)
Post Box No. 87, Main Post Office,
Raipur – 492001: Chhattisgarh

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

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Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : FA-003-2007
Countries : India,