Maoist links case: HC acquits former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and 5 others

PTI, Mar 5, 2024, 11:18 AM IST

G N Saibaba (Credit: PTI / File)

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case and set aise the life imprisonment imposed on him.

A division bench of Justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes also acquitted five others accused in the case.

The bench said it was acquitting all the accused as the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against them.

It also held as “null and void” the sanction procured by the prosecution to charge the accused under provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

While the prosecution did not seek the HC to stay its order, it said it was likely to file an appeal in the Supreme Court immediately.

On October 14, 2022, another bench of the HC acquitted Saibaba, noting the trial proceedings were “null and void” in the absence of a valid sanction under the UAPA.

The Maharashtra government had on the same day approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision.

The apex court initially stayed the order and later in April 2023, set aside the HC order and directed it to hear the appeal filed by Saibaba afresh.

Saibaba (54), who is wheelchair-bound due to physical disability, is lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail since his arrest in the case in 2014.

In 2017, a sessions court in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district convicted Saibaba and five others, including a journalist and a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, for alleged Maoist links and for indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country.

The trial court had held them guilty under various provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code.

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