Supreme Court Special Bench to hear today Maharashtra Govt's SLP against acquittal of DU Professor GN Saibaba And 5 Others

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The special bench has been constituted after SG Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter yesterday before Justice Chandrachud for urgent listing and told the court that in all likelihood the respondent-accused were to be released from the jail yesterday itself.

A division bench of the Supreme Court is slated to hear today the Maharashtra Government's appeal against the acquittal of Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba and five others, who were convicted under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The bench consisting of Justices MR Shah and Bela Trivedi has been specially formed to hear this plea and will hold court at 11 am today.

The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justice Rohit Deo and Justice Anil Pansare has acquitted GN Saibaba and five other accused in the matter.

All of them were convicted for their alleged Maoist links and for waging war against the country.

The High Court while acquitting Saibaba and others ordered for their immediate release. 

Yesterday, hours after the acquittal order was passed, SG Tushar Mehta urgently mentioned the appeal against the said order before a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud seeking immediate listing, as the CJI UU Lalit led bench had risen for the day.

Justice Chandrachud remarked that he could not take up the plea as he had not seen the papers on the matter and it was after 4 PM.

SG Mehta then requested Justice Chandrachud to give liberty to the State of Maharashtra to mention the matter before the Registrar to take suitable instructions from CJI for listing of the matter today.

Accordingly, the matter was listed before a special bench led by Justice MR Shah. 


The Bombay High Court acquitted Saibaba and five others on the ground that the sessions judge had framed charges against them and examined the first witness in the absence of sanction. 

The High Court in the impugned order noted that "the preponderance school of thought is that invalidity or absence of sanction strikes at the very root of the jurisdiction of the court if the Court is precluded from taking cognizance without the previous sanction envisaged under the statute. The jurisprudential logic is that in the absence of a valid sanction, the Court is not empowered to take cognizance of the offence, and the proceedings would be void and 'no proceedings in the eyes of law'".

Notably, it was the prosecution's case that the six accused had links with the CPI Maoist and its frontal organisation Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It was also alleged that the accused were abetting and assisting the hardcore underground cadre of the CPI (Maoist) by providing information and material and facilitating the travel and relocation of the members from one location to the other.

Case Title: The State of Maharashtra vs. Mahesh Kariman Tirki & Ors