Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, who has been arrested and is facing trial for alleged Maoist links, saying Maharashtra government has been “extremely unfair” to him.
A Bench, comprising Justices J.S. Khehar and C. Nagappan, also pulled up the counsel for Maharashtra for opposing the bail plea of Saibaba.
“You have been extremely unfair to the accused, especially looking at his medical condition. If material witnesses have been examined, then there is no point in putting him in jail,” the bench said.
Counsel for Maharashtra government said some crucial prosecution witnesses need to be examined.
The Bench, however, refused to agree with the contention and granted bail to the wheelchair-bound DU professor, who is lodged in the Nagpur jail.
On February 29, the apex court bench comprising justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan had said it may consider granting bail to Saibaba after the trial court examined key witnesses, and had directed day-to-day hearing in the case.
It had said that of the total of 34 witnesses cited by the prosecution, eight were yet to be examined.
Earlier, the court had asked the Maharashtra government to look for an alternative arrangement to house the jailed professor.
“We want the state to make him comfortable,” the Bench had said, while directing the state to provide sufficient medical facilities to him.
Prior to this, the apex court, on a plea of author Arundhati Roy, had refused to stay a criminal contempt notice issued by Bombay High Court against her for an article in a weekly magazine questioning the continued incarceration of Saibaba.
The Bombay High Court had on December 23, 2015 issued the contempt notice against the author for her views on Saibaba’s arrest and rejection of his bail plea early last year.
Gadchiroli Police had arrested Saibaba in 2014 for his alleged links with Maoists. He has been on bail since June last year.
Ms. Roy had expressed her views on the arrest in an article published in a weekly magazine last year.