SC to Hear Maharashtra Govt's Plea Against Order Discharging GN Saibaba on 8 Dec

Meanwhile, several organisations from across the world have written to CJI Chandrachud requesting Saibaba’s release.

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SC to Hear Maharashtra Govt's Plea Against Order Discharging GN Saibaba on 8 Dec
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A Supreme Court bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar is slated to hear the appeal filed by the State of Maharashtra, challenging the Bombay High Court’s order that discharges GN Saibaba and four others in a “maoist-links” case, on Thursday, 8 December. 

Previously, in an “urgent hearing” held on a Saturday (15 October), the apex court had suspended the Bombay High Court’s order and stayed the release of Saibaba and his co-accused.

The bench of Justices MR Shah and Bela Trivedi, who had sat specially on a Saturday to hear the case, had gone on to issue notice on the appeal. The High Court had passed its discharge order only a day prior to this. 

Several questions were also raised back then about the apex court’s unusual urgency to hear the Maharashtra Government’s appeal.



GN Saibaba, 56, is a former Delhi University professor who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in an alleged ‘Maoist links’ case.

However, in their order (which has since been suspended) discharging GN Saibaba and co-accused Mahesh Tirki, Hem Keshwdatta Mishra, Prashant Rahi and Vijay Nan Tirki, the Bombay High Court had noted the want of adequate, legal sanction before the start of the trial. The High Court had found that the trial court, which convicted the accused, took cognisance of the offence even in the absence of sanction.

Saibaba is 90% disabled, inflicted by 19 chronic and acute post-polio conditions and wheel-chair bound. According to Article 14, his conditions include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with left ventricular dysfunction, a cyst in his brain, kidney stones, pancreatic problems, and acute cervical spondylitis. 

In a letter to his wife, two weeks after the apex court had stayed his release, Saibaba reportedly wrote:

“The winter cold has begun in Nagpur already. My muscles in legs, hands, stomach and chest are getting spasms and severe pains. I’m not able to bear the pain as I’ve become much weaker after two attacks of COVID-19 and one of swine flu.” 

He also said that nobody is interested in providing emergency medical treatment for the cysts in his kidneys and brain, and his rheumatic pains. 

This is even though “the doctors at GMCH (Government Medical College Hospital) wrote for the immediate requirement to treat these and other fatal ailments.”



On Monday, several global organisations, including Scholars at Risk, Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund, Southern Illinois Democratic Socialists of America (USA), Hindus for Human Rights (USA), India Labor Solidarity (UK), Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (UK) and India Justice Project (Germany), wrote to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud requesting:

  • A review of Professor Saibaba’s case

  • Reconsideration of the decision to suspend the Bombay High Court’s decision

  • Reinstating of the high court’s order “so Professor Saibaba may be released and finally receive the medical care he urgently needs.”

The letter also quoted the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as having found that Professor Saibaba’s detention “resulted from the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs.”

The organisations further wrote:

“Over the seven years of his imprisonment, he has been denied adequate medical care numerous times, including for two separate Covid-19 infections. Just a few months ago, Pandu Narote, who was convicted alongside Professor Saibaba, died in prison after contracting swine flu and reportedly being denied medical attention. We are deeply concerned about Professor Saibaba’s health. Should he remain in prison and not receive appropriate care?”

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