The Allahabad high court on Monday granted bail to Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay, both of whom were arrested and dumped in jail two years ago on the charge of being "Maoists".
Their only crime was that they were carrying some Communist literature they had purchased from a book fair in New Delhi, when they arrived at the Allahabad railway station on February 6, 2010.
To justify their arbitrary action of labeling them as "anti-nationals" and while charging them with sedition, the cops stated in the FIR lodged against the couple, "These two persons were conspiring to wage a war against India; and their plan was to overthrow the Indian government and install a Maoist regime here. Hence they are charged of sedition."
According to Seema's lawyer Ravi Kiran Jain, "This was just another case like that of Binayak Sen's. Seema and her husband were activists who were always taking up the cause of the downtrodden and deprived. Well at long last, the Hon'ble High Court granted bail on the ground that there was no evidence against Seema or her husband."
He said, "The high court made it loud and clear that merely holding different political views did not amount to becoming anti-national, hence they could not be charged of sedition."
Surprisingly, while upholding the charges leveled by the police, the lower court had awarded the couple life imprisonment.
The court order brought smiles on the faces of Seema's parents who had been struggling against the injustice meted out to their daughter. "The court order has further reinforced our faith in the Indian higher judiciary; at least there is some place where you can seek and get justice", Seema's father M P Srivastava told mediapersons in Allahabad.
Further recalling an observation of the Supreme Court in the Binayak Sen case, he said, "When anyone in possession of Mahatma Gandhi's books cannot automatically become a Gandhian, how can someone be prosecuted for sedition simply because some Maoist literature was found on his person?"