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Bombay HC acquits GN Saibaba in Maoist links case; allows his plea against conviction, life term

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The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case and ordered his immediate release from jail.

A division bench of Justice Rohit Deo and Anil Pansare allowed the appeal filed by Saibaba challenging a 2017 order of the trial court convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound due to a physical disability, is currently lodged at the Nagpur central prison.

The bench also allowed the appeal of five other convicts in the case and acquitted them. One of the five died pending a hearing of the appeal.

The bench directed for the convicts to be released forthwith from jail unless they are accused in any other case.

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

The court had held Saibaba and the others guilty under various provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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