The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday, comprising Justice Rohit Deo and Justice Anil Pansare acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case.
The court also allowed his appeal challenging a trial court order convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment. The Gadchiroli court had earlier awarded him life imprisonment for anti-national activities in 2017. Gadchiroli Police had accused Saibaba of acting as an overground worker for the banned outfit. Police claimed the professor ran an organisation, which was acting as a front for CPI-Maoist, a charge denied by Saibaba.
Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound due to a physical disability, is currently lodged at the Nagpur Central Jail. The court, apart from Saibaba, also acquitted five others namely Mahesh Tirki, Pandu Narote, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi and Vijay Tirki. The court ordered for their immediate release unless they are accused in any other case.
While Vijay was sentenced to 10 years jail-term, the others were sentenced to life imprisonment. Vijay currently is out on bail and Narote, a 33-year-old accused who was also imprisoned at Nagpur Central Jail, passed away in August while in custody.
The court had held Saibaba guilty under various provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Supreme Court decline’s EC’s order to award Shiv Sena symbol to Shinde camp
In a major setback to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to award the name – Shiv Sena and the symbols bow and arrow – to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said, “We cannot stay an order of the Election Commission at this stage. They (Shinde camp) have already succeeded before the EC. We can’t now stay the order.”
The court however allowed a prayer by the Thackeray faction to allow an EC interim order allotting it the name ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)‘ and symbol ‘Flaming Torch’ to ‘continue to remain in operation.’
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who was representing Thackeray in court, told a bench led by Chandrachud that they (Thackeray) want protection. “We want protection. We don’t want our properties to be taken over and bank accounts taken over”.
Thackeray had challenged EC”s decision in the Supreme Court to allot the Shiv Sena name and symbol to the Eknath Shinde-led faction.
Anil Deshmukh granted permission to travel outside Mumbai
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh on Monday was granted permission to travel outside Mumbai for four weeks by a special court on Monday. Deshmukh had sought permission to visit his constituency, which is also his hometown, Nagpur.
The application was filed by Deshmukh through his lawyer, Inderpal Singh, stating that he is a native of Nagpur with deep family roots in the city apart from being an elected representative of his constituency.
“The applicant craves a benevolent indulgence of this court to permit him to travel outside Greater Mumbai, including District Nagpur, for a limited duration of about four weeks so as to maintain continuity in his social and family ties and also visit his original and permanent home/constituency,” the plea stated.
The plea further added that “the applicant needs to have due legal consultation with his lawyers in New Delhi for further course of strategy in the present and connected cases.”
Everything important in country doesn’t need to come before us: SC on Joshimath case
The Supreme Court (SC) denied to take up urgent hearing of Uttarakhand’s Joshimath land subsidence case on Tuesday, January 10.
Joshimath, is a hill town in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, with a population of about 23,000. It is located at an altitude of 6,107 feet. In late 2021, residents started noticing cracks in their houses. Reportedly, Around 700 houses have so far developed major and minor cracks on their walls, ceilings, or floors.
Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, is the petitioner who sought SC’s intervention to declare the crisis in this natural disaster.
Advocate Parmeshwar Nath Mishra is appearing for Saraswati, he had mentioned the Joshimath case for urgent hearing, to which, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said, “Everything important in the country doesn’t need to come before us; there are democratically elected governments which can take care. We will take it up on January 16.”
The bench also said, “There are other democratically elected governments that can take care of the things.”
Saraswati maintained that Joshimath disaster occurred because of large-scale industrialisation. In is plea, he pursued immediate financial assistance and compensation to the people of Uttarakhand. The plea also sought support from the National Disaster Management Authority for residents in this difficult time.