New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Binayak Sen, a human rights activist who hit headlines for getting life imprisonment on charges of sedition and connections with Naxalites.

Apex Court bench of Justice H S Bedi and Justice C K Prasad said that no case for sedition was made out against Sen and observed that a person does not become a Gandhian just because he is found with a biography of Mahatma Gandhi.  

The bench said the bail would be subject to the satisfaction of the trial court. The court ridiculed the state's submission that Sen was actively involved in spreading disharmony and disaffection against the state. 

The court said that even if the state government's contention that Sen was in the possession of banned material and was involved in its circulation was true, it did not justify the charge of sedition. Mocking at the contention of the state government, the court said that if a biography of Mahatma Gandhi is recovered from a person that did not make him a Gandhian.  

61-year-old Sen, at present in a jail in the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, had challenged the February 10 order of the Chhattisgarh High Court rejecting his bail plea.  

He was sentenced by the trial court December 24, 2010, for sedition. He was accused of acting as a courier between Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata-based businessman Piyush Guha, both of whom have also been jailed for life. 

The state government, in its reply to Sen's petition in the high court, said that he had the same ideology as that of CPI-Maoist (Communist Party of India-Maoist) and he was addressed as a comrade by hardcore Naxalites (Maoists). 

The Chhattisgarh government claimed Sen was helping the Maoists in building 'urban network and sympathisers'.

(Agencies)