The Telegraph
Saturday , July 4 , 2015

HC vetoes docs, frees 'Maoist' professor

GN Saibaba outside Nagpur central prison on Friday

Nagpur, July 3: Delhi University academic G.N. Saibaba was freed from a Nagpur prison today on a conditional three-month bail after Bombay High Court overruled local medical opinion to decide the alleged Maoist coordinator needed treatment in Delhi.

The English professor, left wheelchair-bound by a longstanding spinal disease, became the first academic of repute to be held for alleged Maoist links when Maharashtra police arrested him from his Delhi campus in May last year. The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court thrice rejected his bail applications.

Last week, a local private hospital and a government neurosurgeon advised that he didn't need any immediate surgical intervention.

But on Wednesday, the bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.B. Shukre in Mumbai, which had taken suo motu cognisance of a letter from activist Purnima Upadhyay, exercised its extraordinary powers under Article 226 to protect a citizen's rights.

It directed the jail to release Saibaba for three months, accepting that his "deteriorating medical condition" demanded round-the-clock family support and treatment in Delhi.

Saibaba, who has furnished a bond of Rs 50,000, was to leave for Delhi immediately after his afternoon release. The court has imposed the condition that he cannot keep any mode of communication, such as a laptop or even a cellphone, at home.

Maharashtra's BJP government has indicated it will appeal the bail.

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