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Maha moves SC against Bombay HC's acquittal of prof Saibaba

Maha moves SC against Bombay HCs acquittal of prof Saibaba

Professor Saibaba _file

New Delhi: The Maharashtra government filed another petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging the Bombay High Court's decision to acquit former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five others in an alleged Maoist links case. The Bombay High Court's Nagpur Bench acquitted Saibaba and five others, overturning a 2017 conviction of a Gadchiroli Sessions Court that condemned them to life in prison.

A division bench of Justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes ordered the acquitted accused individuals to be released from jail after submitting a bail bond of Rs 50,000 apiece. The court stated that it was acquitting all of the accused in the case because the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court found the UAPA sanction against the accused to be "null and void."

Justices Joshi and Menezes re-heard Saibaba’s case after a previous division bench of the Bombay High Court had also acquitted the disabled professor in October 2022, the News Minute reported.

The re-hearing took place after the Supreme Court set aside the October 2022 acquittal order and remanded the matter for a fresh hearing back to the Bombay High Court.

The prosecution alleged that Saibaba and others were working for the banned CPI-Maoist and its frontal organisations like the Revolutionary Democratic Front. The Maharashtra Police had seized evidence like Maoist literature, pamphlets, electronic materials, and other things deemed to be "anti-national" from them.

The activist-academic, who needs a wheelchair to move, was taken into custody under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, along with five others - Mahesh Kariman Tirki (farmer), Pandu Pora Narote (farmer), Hem Keshavdatta Mishra (student), and Prashant Sanglikar (journalist), who were sentenced to life in prison, and Vijay Tirki (labourer) who got 10 years. Pandu Pora Narote died in August 2022, while the appeal was still pending.

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TAGS:Supreme Court#Bombay HCGN Saibaba
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