The Bombay High Court Wednesday allowed Delhi University professor Dr G N Saibaba — jailed in Nagpur for his alleged maoist links — to be shifted to a private health facility observing his deteriorating health. Appearing for the family, senior counsel Gayatri Singh informed Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice AK Menon that government facilities in Nagpur were incapable of handling Saibaba’s case. “He is suffering from neurological issues apart from heart related and other ailments,” she said.
Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde opposed to the proposal, citing security concerns. “It may lead to bigger security concern,” said Shinde adding that the sessions judge in Nagour could assess the situation and pass appropriate orders. The HC, however, felt that the professor’s health might worsen if not admitted immediately to a private hospital having neurological treatment facility. Feeling it necessary to impose certain safeguards, while HC has allowed Saibaba’s wife and brother to accompany him, they have restricted them from carrying cellphones or laptops. Add to that, there will be medical officer nominated by the prison authority accompanying Saibaba and also a doctor appointed by his family. Round-the-clock security by the prison will be provided at the private hospital, the HC said.
The court also clarified that Saibaba will remain in the hospital subject to its further orders. His medical report will be submitted to Shinde who will in turn inform the court about Saibaba’s condition. The HC had last week taken took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by an activist, who expressed concern over the failing health condition of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged Maoist links a year ago. Melghat-based activist Purnima Upadhyay, in a mail enclosed the copy of a news report published in an English daily earlier this month. The report points out that Saibaba, who has spent six months in the prison’s “anda cell”, has developed many more ailments, leaving him crippled.
The English professor is able to use only his right hand, the report says. Taking note of the letter and the news report, the High Court issued notice and asked them to file their replies by June 17. In a development which took place last month, a sessions court had ordered that Saibaba, be given a disabled friendly bed and three more assistants, however, the prison officials are yet to implement the order. The professor is paralysed below neck and cannot move without help. On May 20, during a hearing via video conference, Saibaba had told sessions judge D R Shirasao that due to his ailment he was unable to stay in the concrete Anda cell and that he needed three more assistants along with a bed that suited his ailment