Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Monday closed for final orders the hearing in the bail plea by Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who is serving life sentence in Nagpur Central Jail for aiding and abetting Maoist activities and sedition.
Saibaba and four others were convicted and sentenced to life on March 7, 2017. After hearing all the sides, the court has reserved its order. The next date of hearing was not announced.
Saibaba’s health report was submitted before the court at the previous hearing. His counsel had informed that the wheelchair-bound professor was suffering from 19 diseases detected during his medical check up. Praying for 3-4 month bail, the counsel argued that the diseases could be treated only at multispecialty hospitals in Delhi or Hyderabad.
Dr Gopinath from Telangana had visited the city and examined Saibaba at superspecialty hospital. He had advised treatment outside the city.
Saibaba and others were convicted under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with Section 120B of IPC for criminal conspiracy, for aiding and abetting Maoist activities and waging war against the nation. Since then, the convicts were lodged at Nagpur Central Jail. Saibaba was arrested on May 9, 2014, from his home at Delhi.
The court had declined to show any leniency to the wheelchair-bound Saibaba on account of his disability, stating that he was mentally fit and working as a think tank for banned political organization like CPI (Maoist) and RDF.
In 2015, NGO Khoj, working for tribals in Melghat in Amravati district, had moved the chief justice of Bombay HC over the worsening health condition of Saibaba. It stated that the JNU professor had contracted several ailments during his stay in jail and later in Anda cell. He was suffering from polio and blood pressure, and needed a wheelchair. It also mentioned that his condition was deteriorating due to scorching weather, and his body being 90% handicapped.
The alleged Maoist sympathizer had contended through his counsel Surendra Gadling that he was suffering from multiple problems like kidney and gall bladder stone and needed proper medical treatment immediately. The jail authorities failed to provide it, forcing him to even go on a hunger strike.
The CMO’s medical report submitted to Gadchiroli court had mentioned that Saibaba’s case was of “systemic hypertension with ischemic heart disease”.
Special public prosecutor Prashant Sathianathan had informed that Saibaba was already receiving proper medical attention from Government Medical College (GMC) and Super Specialty Hospital. Moreover, he was provided with a commode and wheelchair as per his demand.