A Supreme Court bench of Justice M R Shah and Justice Bela M Trivedi in a special sitting on Saturday upheld the Maharashtra government’s plea and suspended the Bombay high court order acquitting former Delhi University Professor G N Saibaba in a case relating to his alleged Maoist links.
On Friday, the top court had refused to stay the high court order. Following the HC acquitting Saibaba, the Maharashtra government swiftly moved the apex court seeking a stay on the order which was declined. The supreme court, however, allowed Maharashtra to move an application before the registry requesting an urgent listing of the matter.
A bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who mentioned the matter for urgent listing and sought a stay on the verdict, that the court cannot stay the acquittal order as the parties are not before it. More than eight years after his arrest, the Bombay high court on Friday acquitted Saibaba and ordered his release from jail, noting that the sanction order issued to prosecute the accused in the case under the stringent provisions of the UAPA was “bad in law and invalid”. The Nagpur bench of the high court allowed the appeal filed by Saibaba challenging a 2017 order of the trial court convicting and sentencing him to life imprisonment.
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