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SC rejects Maha govt's plea seeking stay on acquittal of ex-DU prof G N Saibaba in Maoist links case

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Maharashtra government application seeking a stay on a Bombay High Court order that acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and others in the Maoist links case.

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Maharashtra government application seeking a stay on a Bombay High Court order that acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and others in the Maoist links case.

A bench of justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta admitted the state government's appeal, even as it observed that the high court order was 'prima facie well reasoned'.

The bench also rejected the oral request of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the Maharashtra government for early listing of the appeal and said it will come in due course.

'There cannot be any urgency in the order of reversal of conviction. Had it been the other way around, we would have considered,' the bench told Raju.

Justice Mehta said it is a hard-earned acquittal and in normal course, this court should have dismissed this appeal.

On March 5, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court acquitted Saibaba, 54, and others, noting that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the case against him.

The HC had also set aside Saibaba's life sentence and acquitted five other accused in the case.

It held as 'null and void' the sanction procured by the prosecution to charge the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

'The prosecution has failed to establish any legal seizure or any incriminating material against the accused,' the HC had said.

Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound, was lodged in Nagpur Central Jail since his arrest in the case in 2014.

In March 2017, a sessions court in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district had convicted Saibaba and five others, including a journalist and a Jawaharlal Nehru University student, for alleged links with the banned CPI (Maoist) and for indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country.

The trial court had held Saibaba and others guilty under various provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code. PTI MNL DIV DIV

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