Bombay HC acquits ex-DU professor GN Saibaba in Maoist links case

Saibaba is currently in the Nagpur central prison. Five other convicts from the Maoist link case are to be released unless they are accused in other cases.

Former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba (Image: Twitter/@MujtabaAasif)Former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba (Image: Twitter/@MujtabaAasif)

Press Trust of India | October 14, 2022 | 11:44 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case, and ordered his immediate release from jail.

A division bench of Justice Rohit Deo and Anil Pansare allowed the appeal filed by Saibaba challenging a 2017 order of the trial court convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment. Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound due to a physical disability, is currently lodged at the Nagpur central prison.

"We had faith that he would be acquitted because he did not do anything wrong. There was no crime and no evidence. I am thankful to the judiciary and all those who supported us," Saibaba's wife Vasantha Kumari told PTI.

On being asked about Saibaba's absence and how the family coped with it for eight years, Kumairi added: "Don't ask! There was a lot of struggle and patience involved in the last eight years. It was difficult for Sai also since his health deteriorated and he lost his job."

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The bench also allowed the appeal of five other convicts in the case and acquitted them. One of the five died pending hearing of the appeal. The bench directed for the convicts to be released forthwith from jail unless they are accused in any other case.

In March 2017, a sessions court in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district had convicted Saibaba and 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 court had held Saibaba and the others guilty under various provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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