Mumbai News

SC suspends Bombay HC order acquitting G.N. Saibaba and others in Maoist-links case – The Hindu

Supreme Court, on October 15, 2022, suspended the Bombay High Court judgment discharging GN Saibaba in a UAPA case accusing him of Maoist links.

The apex court said the trial court had convicted him after a detailed appreciation of the merits of the case. The offences arraigned against Mr. Saibaba is very serious and against the interests of the society, sovereignty and integrity of India

The apex court refused Mr. Saibaba’s lawyer’s plea to let him continue in house arrest considering the fact that he is 90% disabled and wheelchair-bound.

The Supreme Court also issued notice on Maharashtra’s appeal against the discharge of Saibaba and others for lack of sanction and irregular sanction, respectively.

Supreme Court stayed the release of ex-DU professor and others from jail as directed by Bombay High Court in Maoist-links case.

It fixed the next hearing on December 8

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the apex court has the power to suspend the judgment of the High Court under Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Mr. Mehta said the High Court had discharged Saibaba and other only on the point of sanction and had failed to consider the case on merits and strong evidence against them.

“Mere irregularity in grant of sanction does not warrant discharge,” Mr. Mehta argued.

He said the facts of the case against Saibaba and the other were “very distrubing”. It included evidence suggesting that they were plotting the throwing out of parliamentary form of democracy, meetings with naxal commanders, etc.

Senior advocate R. Basant, for Saibaba, said Saibaba was arrested in May 2014.

No sanction was granted to prosecute him when cognisance of the case was taken in February 2014 and charges were framed in February 2015.

Sanction to prosecute him was granted only in April 2015.

Mr. Basant said Saibaba was 55 years old, his family was in Delhi and his wheelchair condition required constant and expert medical care which the prison staff in Nagpur Central Jail cannot provide