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Business News/ News / Bombay High Court acquits former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and 5 others in Maoist link case
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Bombay High Court acquits former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and 5 others in Maoist link case

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five others in an alleged Maoist links case.

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five other accused in an alleged Maoist links case. (PTI)Premium
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five other accused in an alleged Maoist links case. (PTI)

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, March 5, acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five other accused in an alleged Maoist links case.

Those acquitted by the Nagpur Bench include GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Mahesh Tirkey, Vijay Tirkey, Narayan Sanglikar, Prashant Rahi and Pandu Narote (deceased). The Bombay High Court said that the accused could be released from prison upon deposit of 50,000 each as bail bonds till the Supreme Court decides State's appeal, Bar and Bench reported.

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A bench of justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes delivered the judgement after rehearing the appeal made by GN Saibaba, as the bench set aside October 2022 acquittal order of the High Court. The Supreme Court had remanded the matter back to the High Court for fresh hearing.

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The earlier verdict of a Nagpur sessions court in Gadchiroli had convicted the former DU professor and five others in 2017 for alleged Maoist links and for indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country. 

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The sessions court had ruled that Saibaba and two other accused were in possession of naxal literature with the intent and purpose of circulation amongst underground naxlites at Gadchiroli and residents of the district with the aim to incite the people to resort to violence.

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The disabled ex-DU professor then moved the Bombay High Court with this appeal against the sessions court verdict and the same was heard by a bench led by Justice Rohit B Deo on October 14, 2022. This appeal was permitted based on the fact that the sessions court framed charges against GN Saibaba in the absence of sanction from the Central government as per Section 45(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Bench of the High Court again acquitted GN Saibaba on October 14 in the year 2022, Bar and Bench reported.

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Thereafter, the Maharashtra government approached the Supreme Court against the verdict contending that failure to grant sanction cannot lead to acquittal in view of Section 465 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.The apex court subsequently held a special sitting next day, October 15, and suspended the High Court's decision.

Subsequently, on April 19, 2023, Supreme Court set aside the High Court acquittal judgment and remanded the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration.

GN Saibaba who is in his mid-fifties is wheelchair-bound and 99 per cent disabled and is presently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 11:19 AM IST
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