The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the order by the Bombay High Court acquitting former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five others in a case of alleged Maoist links. Remanding the matter back to the High Court, the Supreme Court granted it four months to decide on the case afresh under a new bench.
Issuing directions to the High Court, a bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar asked that the matter be heard afresh on all aspects in the interest of propriety as the one which discharged them had “already formed an opinion”.
Also Read: SC suspends Bombay HC order acquitting former DU professor GN Saibaba, others
Notably, the order by the Bombay High Court dated October 14 was stayed by the Supreme Court at a special Saturday hearing the very next day. In its order, a bench of Justices MR Shah and Bela M Trivedi noted that the High Court did not consider the merits while discharging the five accused, including Saibaba.
“The High Court has discharged the accused only on the ground that the sanction was invalid and some material which was placed before the appropriate authority and sanction was granted on the same day,” the SC bench noted in its order.
Also Read: Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba acquitted in Maoist links case
Saibaba was arrested in February 2014 and filed an appeal challenging a 2017 order of the trial court convicting and sentencing him to life imprisonment.
Others convicted besides the former professor included farmers Mahesh Kariman Tirki and Pandu Pora Narote (now deceased), student Hem Keshavdatta Mishra and journalist Prashant Sanglikar. A labourer named Vijay Tirki was sentenced to 10 years in jail in the case.