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Bombay High Court rejects G. N. Saibaba’s plea for emergency parole

The former Delhi University professor who has been convicted for Maoist links and is sentenced to life imprisonment had sought parole to attend his mother’s post-funeral rites at Hyderabad.

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the emergency parole plea filed by 90% physically disabled Professor G.N. Saibaba to attend his mother’s post-funeral rites at Hyderabad.

Saibaba, 50, is a former professor of the Delhi University and is incarcerated in the anda cell (solitary confinement) at the Nagpur Central Jail. He has been convicted for Maoists links and is sentenced to life imprisonment. After the prison authorities rejected his parole application for attending the last rites of his mother, who died on August 1 of cancer, Saibaba moved the High Court.

Special Public Prosecutor P. K. Sathianathan opposed the plea and said most of the post-funeral rituals had been completed. A Division Bench of Justices Z. A. Haq and A. G. Gharote said it would be difficult to arrange for security personnel to escort Mr. Saibaba from Nagpur to Hyderabad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed the jail authorities to make arrangements for Saibaba to talk to his family via video conferencing on one day.

On April 21, Saibaba had moved the High Court for an emergency parole to visit his mother, who was on the deathbed. However, on May 22, a Division Bench of Justices R. K. Deshpande and Amit Borkar had rejected the plea, primarily in view of the fact that the place in Hyderabad he intended to visit has been declared a containment zone amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

On July 28, a Division Bench of Justices Z. A. Haq and S. M. Modak had rejected the criminal appeal filed by Saibaba. He was seeking suspension of his sentence and/or temporary medical bail for 45 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak inside the prison. The Maharashtra government had previously informed the court that the prison administration is taking every effort to provide all necessary health services to Saibaba.

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