Bombay HC acquits ex-DU professor G N Saibaba, five others in Maoist links case
Mumbai, October 14, 2022
In a significant development, the Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G. N. Saibaba and five others in an alleged Maoist links and conspiracy case.
In their verdict, a division bench of Justices Rohit Deo and Anil Pansare also acquitted Mahesh K. Tirki, Hem Keshawdatt Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Vijay Nan Tirki and Pandur Pora Narote who died in August this year.
Earlier, the court had allowed their appeals against conviction and life sentences awarded under the UAPA provisions.
Saibaba, who suffers from a polio-related paralysis and is bound to a wheelchair, had previously filed a plea seeking suspension of his sentence on medical grounds, saying he is also suffering from multiple ailments, but it was rejected.
Currently in Nagpur Central Jail, Saibaba is likely to be freed soon unless required in any other case.
All the accused, arrested in 2014, were tried under various sections of IPC and UAPA and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Gadchiroli Sessions Court in March 2017, for links with the banned Maoist groups, charges of waging war against the nation, conspiracy, among others.
The Maharashtra government has challenged the High Court's order in the Supreme Court, which hear the plea on Saturday.
A bench comprising Justices M. R. Shah and Bela M. Trivedi will hear the matter.
As Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the appeal before a bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli and sought urgent listing of the case, as, in all likelihood, the respondents may be released from the jail, it directed the case to be listed before an appropriate bench after the Chief Justice provides his administrative approval.
"At this stage, we deem it appropriate to mention that the proceedings have been mentioned before this since the bench presided over by the Chief Justice has risen for the day. The Solicitor General states that he will move an application before the Registry for obtaining administrative directions of Hon'ble the Chief Justice for listing of the Special Leave Petition tomorrow (15.10.2022)", said the top court, in its order.