Apex court raps Maharashtra, grants bail to Saibaba

Coming down heavily on the state counsel for opposing the bail plea of Delhi University (DU) professor GN Saibaba, facing trial over alleged Maoist links, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday said the state has been ‘extremely unfair’ to him. Gadchiroli Police had arrested Saibaba for his alleged links with Maoists in 2014.

Delhi University (DU) professor GN Saibaba
Delhi University (DU) professor GN Saibaba

“You have been extremely unfair to the accused, especially looking at his medical condition. If material witnesses have been examined, then there is no point in putting him in jail,” stated the SC bench comprising justices JS Khehar and C Nagappan.

The bench refused to agree with the state counsel’s contention that a few crucial prosecution witnesses were to be examined, and granted bail to the wheelchair-bound DU professor who is currently lodged in the Nagpur jail.

On February 29, the bench had stated that it might consider granting bail to Saibaba after the trial court examined key witnesses, and had directed day-to-day hearing in the case. It had then said that of the total of 34 witnesses cited by the prosecution, eight were yet to be examined. Earlier, the court had asked the government to look for an alternative arrangement to house the jailed professor. “We want the state to make him comfortable,” the bench had said, while directing the state to provide sufficient medical facilities to him.

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