HC grants bail to prof Saibaba on health grounds

HC grants bail to prof Saibaba on health grounds
 Suspended Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged Maoist links, was today granted temporary bail for three months by the Bombay High Court considering his deteriorating health condition.

"We are satisfied that if Saibaba is not released on temporary bail for medical treatment then there is a chance that his life will be at risk. This court would be failing in its duty to protect the fundamental right of Saibaba," a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S B Shukre said.

The court directed authorities to release wheeler chair- bound Saibaba, who is lodged in Nagpur prison since his arrest last year by the Maharashtra police, on a bail bond of Rs 50,000.

The HC had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the matter following a news report on Saibaba's health condition and a letter written by activist Purnima Upadhyay to it.

The court had earlier called for doctor's report which stated that Saibaba was suffering from a condition which causes degeneration of his spine.

"Saibaba needs physical therapy, pain management and supportive care of his family. He can get treatment at any of the hospitals which are on the panel of the Delhi University," the court said.

Upadhyay's advocate Vijay Hiremath submitted that Saibaba will not have to pay anything if he gets treatment at AIIMS, St Stephens Hospital and Arya Vaidyashala in Delhi as these hospitals are on the Delhi University panel.

The state government strongly opposed granting of bail to Saibaba on the ground that he may tamper with evidence or witnesses or he may abscond.

"Saibaba is accused of serious charges. He is an active member of banned terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist). We have seized several incriminating material from his laptops and house. He has been charged under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde argued.

The court, after perusing the charges and the charge sheet, said, "Saibaba has not been assigned any role that has got anything to do with committing a terrorist act."

It has asked Saibaba to refrain from using laptops and computers when on bail and also provide his address, both residential and of the hospital, to the police.

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