SC to hear Saibaba’s bail plea

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court said on Monday it will hear a plea by DU professor G.N. Saibaba seeking bail following his arrest for his alleged links with the Revolutionary Democrats Front — an alleged front organisation of the banned CPI-Maoist.

A bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice C. Nagappan asked the counsel for Maharashtra government to take instructions that in case, Saibaba is taken to Nagpur to face the trial, then there are sufficient medical facilities for his treatment and lodging.

“If they (the Maharashtra government) take you there, they will be responsible,” it said.

Asking the counsel appearing for Maharashtra to take instructions on professor Saibaba’s plea for bail, the court said that he is seeking exemption from personal appearance as he will not be there to influence the course of the trial.

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“If you somehow persuade us that he should not be granted bail, you must have medical facilities not in jail but in some guest house,” Justice Khehar told the counsel for the state.

The court said this as senior counsel R.S.Cheema appearing for Saibaba told it that Saibaba was confined to wheelchair and he “can’t go” and “can’t participate” in the trial court proceedings.

He also noted that the other co-accused in the matter have already been granted bail.

As Cheema urged the court to grant the Delhi University professor exemption from personal appearance before the trial court, the bench said: “You have not made an application seeking exemption.”

Thereafter it also allowed Saibaba to move an application seeking personal exemption from appearing before the trial court by Wednesday and the same will be considered on Friday.

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The court order came on Saibaba’s plea challenging the Bombay High Court’s December 23, 2015, order rejecting his plea for regular bail.

Rejecting the bail plea of Saibaba, the Nagpur bench of the high court had said: “There is a prima facie case against the applicant based on strong evidence and in fact, the applicant who is an intellectual has used his intelligentsia for anti-national activities for which there is strong evidence against him as discussed and, therefore, the case of the applicant cannot be considered on the ground of parity.”

Saibaba, who was arrested by Maharashtra Police in May 2015, was released on interim bail on health grounds by high court which had treated as a PIL an email based on a newspaper report on his failing health condition. He suffers 90 percent disability due to post-polio paralysis.

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The interim bail was extended till December 31 as the court asked him to approach the Nagpur bench for regular bail. However, when he did so, his plea was rejected and he was asked to surrender at the Nagpur Central Jail within two days.

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