Credits: News Laundry

"GN Saibaba isn’t being let out of prison even in a pandemic. It’s a disgrace"

The ailing, disabled Delhi University professor is serving a life sentence on sketchy charges of being associated with the Maoists.

Professor GN Saibaba suffers from over 15 critical ailments, some of which may prove fatal. He is 90 percent disabled and his health has steadily deteriorated since he was arrested in 2014. The pandemic has only heightened the risk to his life. Yet, on July 28, the Delhi University teacher who is serving a life sentence for alleged links with the Maoists was denied bail by the Bombay high court. The court had previously rejected a petition to suspend his sentence temporarily.

After the pandemic hit India, the Supreme Court and several high courts asked for decongesting prisons by granting inmates bail or parole. Citing these directions, Saibaba’s lawyer, NB Rathod, pleaded with the Bombay high court to grant the wheelchair-bound professor bail, or suspend his sentence temporarily. Rathod contended that with his multiple comorbidities, Saibaba was at high risk of falling prey to Covid-19. In fact, his health had significantly deteriorated and he required urgent medical attention, including surgery. Saibaba had nobody to look after him in prison, and the pandemic had made it hard for his family and friends to get him medicine. The lawyer further pleaded that Saibaba’s mother was critically ill and he was needed to be with her....

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