India: Disabled Professor Denied Bail and Medical Care

Bombay HC rejects ailing DU professor GN Saibaba’s temporary bail plea

Speed News Desk|23 December 2015

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who was arrested by the Maharashtra Police for his alleged Maoist links.

The bench has asked the academician, who uses a wheelchair, to surrender in 48 hours, “failing which the police shall arrest him.

“The court said that his fundamental rights would be violated if it didn’t grant him bail. The court also took note of the fact that Saibaba is suffering from multiple health problems and needs to be moved around in a wheel-chair. He had dislocated his shoulder and has a crippled right hand due to spinal problems.

He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On 1 July, he was granted temporary bail on grounds of failing health. Saibaba had been in jail since his arrest in May 2014 from the Delhi University campus.

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Statement by Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr GN Saibaba

Statement of condemnation of the order to send Dr. G.N. Saibaba back to prison

Court cancels wheelchair-bound professor's bail, charges Arundhati Roy with contempt for defending himWe the undersigned are shocked to hear the news that Dr. G.N Saibaba’s application for permanent bail was rejected today by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. What is further appalling is that the High Court has also dismissed Saibaba’s interim bail order (Criminal Application No.785/2015), that was issued by a division bench led by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Justice Mohit Shah along with Justice Shukre on 30/06/2015 which granted him interim relief which in turn was extended by the same division bench till 31st December 2015, to avail treatments for his serious medical conditions. It was only after many democratic voices raised an alarm about the rapidly failing health condition of Saibaba, that the Bombay High Court intervened on the basis of a letter written to the Chief Justice by an activist named Purnima Upadhyay. The letter, which was suo moto converted to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the High Court, resulted in Dr. Saibaba being granted temporary bail. Interrupting his ongoing treatment, the new judgment by a single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered Dr. Saibaba to surrender himself to the Nagpur prison within 48 hours! The order further states upon failure to do so, he shall be arrested by the police. Continue reading

India: Government Relents at Public Outrage At Abuse of Prisoner Dr. Saibaba, Grants Limited Medical Release

Jailed for alleged Maoist link, DU professor GN Saibaba gets bail

Worsening health of G N Saibaba, charged under the UAPA for alleged Maoist links, was the main ground for his release.

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Professor GN Saibaba

AdTech AdWritten by Aamir Khan, Indian Express | Mumbai | July 1, 2015

Wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor G N Saibaba has been granted bail after over a year, as the Bombay High Court Tuesday exercised powers to “protect” his fundamental rights. He has been ailing and will go to Delhi for treatment.

Worsening health of Saibaba, charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged Maoist links, was the main ground for his release.

“If extraordinary powers enshrined under Article 226 is not exercised, this court will be failing in its duty to protect the fundamental rights of professor G N Saibaba, professor of English at Delhi University. Therefore, this court is inclined to direct respondents (jail authorities) to release him for three months for medical treatment and support of his family,” Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S B Shukre observed.

Saibaba has been in Nagpur Central Prison since his arrest in May 2014 by the Maharashtra Police, from the university campus. Now that he is allowed to go to Delhi, he can undergo treatment for degeneration of spine and other neurological ailments.

The HC felt he needed his family’s round-the clock assistance. He has been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000. He has been asked to not keep any mode of communication, such as laptop or cellphones, at his house.Dr GN
Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde wanted these bail conditions to be imposed. He opposed the reprieve saying Saibaba is associated with the banned CPI (Maoist) and there was possibility of him tampering with evidence. Shinde argued that Saibaba’s bail had been rejected on three occasions. He submitted that the single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had rejected the plea.
“It was after the sessions court refused him relief. This court cannot take suo motu cognisance in a PIL and grant him bail as it does not have jurisdiction. There is an alternate remedy available to him,” argued Shinde. He pointed that the hard disk retrieved from Saibaba’s house corroborated with evidence in memory cards gathered from a couple of accused who claimed getting it from Saibaba. They were supposed to deliver the memory cards to naxals,” said Shinde.

Activist Purnima Upadhyay, whose letter to the court highlighted Saibaba’s failing health, had pointed out difficulties faced by his family in getting him treated. His family stays in Delhi and his wife and brother have to travel frequently to meet him.

Upadhyay said when she visited Saibaba, she saw him being wheeled with assistance. He had dislocated his shoulder, besides having a crippled right hand due to spinal problems.

“He often gets muscle cramps. He has also been fainting. He said complications in his kidney and gall bladder led to urinal problems as he was on strong medication,” she said.

Allowing Saibaba’s brother and wife to meet him, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon had earlier directed prison authorities to shift the professor to a hospital of his choice. The HC had rapped the police for ‘working blindly’ and treating the ailing professor ‘like an animal’.

Senior counsel Gayatri Singh, appearing for the petitioner, said government facilities in Nagpur were inadequate to handle Saibaba’s case. Escalating medical cost, up to Rs 1 lakh, which the family had incurred was worrisome, she had said.

 

 

India: Protests of Medical Abuse of Political Activist Professor-Prisoner Brings Care, Briefly

, in TOI Edit Page, June 18, 2015

At long last the Bombay high court has permitted GN Saibaba – a professor of English literature at Delhi University – to be temporarily shifted to a private health facility for urgently required medical treatment. Else he might have had to die inside a Nagpur jail cell without his guilt ever being proven. That, in fact, can still happen.

Due to polio, his legs are 90% disabled since he was five. But the authorities find him so dangerous that he has been denied bail by a Nagpur court twice. For over a year, jail authorities have denied him the special care he needs as a disabled prisoner with cardiac problems. As a result, his health is now failing. The jail doctor has ordered an angioplasty. Without the surgery he might suffer a heart attack.

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