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Bombay HC acquits ex-Delhi Uni professor Saibaba, 5 others in Maoist links case

Bombay HC acquits ex-Delhi Uni professor Saibaba, 5 others in Maoist links case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five others in the Maoist connection case. A bench of justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes overturned a Nagpur sessions court ruling that convicted GN Saibaba and others in 2017.

The Bombay high court bench announced the ruling after revisiting GN Saibaba's appeal, after an earlier bench of the high court acquitted the disabled professor on October 14, 2022, according to Bar and Bench, Hindustan Times reported.

The court stated that it was acquitting all of the accused because the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt against them. It also declared the sanction obtained by the prosecution to charge the accused "null and void" under the strict terms of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

While the prosecution did not request a stay of the high court's order, it stated that it intended to file an appeal in the Supreme Court immediately.

GN Saibaba, 54, is wheelchair-bound and 99% handicapped. He is now held in Nagpur Central Jail.

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, of having Maoist affiliations and engaging in acts that amounted to waging war against the country. The trial court found them guilty under several sections of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code.

On October 14, 2022, another bench of the high court acquitted Saibaba, stating that the trial processes were "null and void" in the lack of a valid sanction under UAPA.

The Maharashtra government filed a petition with the Supreme Court on the same day, appealing the ruling.

The Supreme Court initially stayed the ruling, but in April 2023, it overturned the high court order and ordered a new hearing on Saibaba's appeal.

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TAGS:#Bombay HCGN SaibabaMaoist links case
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