Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Supreme Court suspends Bombay HC order acquitting Saibaba

The Supreme Court Saturday suspended the impugned judgment and order of the Bombay High Court acquitting former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in a case relating to his alleged Maoist links and stayed the release of five persons, including Saibaba.

After a naerly two-hour long hearing in a special sitting held on Saturday, a Bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Bela M. Trivedi passed the order while issuing notice on the appeal preferred by the State of Maharashtra, Live Law reported.

“We are of the firm opinion that the impugned judgment of the High Court is required to be suspended…It is not in dispute that even considering Section 390 CrPC and the decision of this court in the case of 1976(3) SCC 1 the appellate court in an appeal against acquittal, can suspend the order of acquittal/discharge. Therefore, this court can suspend the HC order,” the bench observed in its order.

“High Court has not considered the merits. High Court has discharged the accused only on the ground that sanction was invalid and some material which was placed before the appropriate authority and sanction was granted on the same day”, the Court noted in the order.

Saibaba, who is bound by wheelchair due to post-polio paralysis, had earlier filed an application seeking suspension of sentence on medical grounds. He said that he is suffering from multiple ailments, including kidney and spinal cord problems. In 2019, the High Court rejected his application to suspend the sentence.

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