Law & Judiciary

    Ex-DU professor G N Saibaba released from Nagpur jail after acquittal in Maoist links case

    The Hawk
    March7/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba was released from jail after the Bombay High Court acquitted him of alleged Maoist links, citing insufficient evidence and a lack of due process in the UAPA sanction.

    G N Saibaba

    Nagpur: Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba was released from the Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday, two days after the Bombay High Court acquitted him in an alleged Maoist links case.

    Saibaba was lodged in the jail here since 2017 after his conviction by a trial court in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district. Before that, he was in prison from 2014 to 2016 and was subsequently granted bail.

    "My health is very bad. I can't talk. I will have to first take medical treatment, and then only I will able to speak," Saibaba, who has been wheelchair-bound, told reporters after coming out of the jail.

    A family member was waiting for him outside the jail.

    The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday set aside the life sentence of Saibaba in the alleged Maoist links case, noting that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

    The HC overturned Saibaba's sentence, terming the sanction for prosecution granted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as "null and void".

    The court said the sanction given under UAPA by the state authority was without application of mind and the report submitted by the independent authority recommending invocation of UAPA provisions in the case was "cryptic and a laconic half page communication".

    The bench also noted that seizure of some pamphlets and electronic data from the accused merely demonstrated that they were sympathisers of the Maoist philosophy.

    In March 2017, a sessions court in Gadchiroli 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.