It was a DAY After an earlier Bombay High Court exiled the former Delhi University Professor G N Saibabaand four others in a case brought under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the alleged Maoist connections, the Supreme Court on Saturday suspended the HC decision until further decisions.
A justice bench comprising justices M R Shah and Bela M Trivedi had a special session on Saturday.
Saibaba’s lawyer senior advocate R Basant, asked the court to grant him house arrest in light of his health situation, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, resisted the plea.
“This plea for house-arrest is often from Naxals or Urban Naxals. These crimes are possible to commit even when they are under the house, using the use of a mobile phone,” said Mehta and asked for the court to refuse the plea.
Saibaba who has been sentenced to life in prison in 2017is imprisoned within Nagpur central prison. Nagpur Central Prison.
Invoking the absence of a legal punishment under UAPA in addition to declaring trial in the Gadchiroli tribunal “null and null” The Nagpur court is a member of Bombay HC had discharged Saibaba and four other defendants on Friday. A sixth defendant died in August of this year. In August, the Maharashtra government had filed a motion with to the SC in opposition to the HC decision.
“Having been able to hear the learned counsel of the two sides… the court believe that this is an appropriate instance to exercise the power of Section 390 CrPC and to temporarily suspend the impugned judgment as well as order issued by the High Court,” the SC bench said, holding the release of the indicted. Section 390 CrPC regulates the arrest of accused during appeals from an acquittal.
The SC declared that the HC could not look into the aspects of the case or the verdict of the trial court that convicted them the accused, or “the severity and seriousness of the crimes that led to the defendants being sentenced”. “The HC did not look at the merits of the case however, they found a way around,” the bench said it added, noting that “the violations are seriousand infringe on the integrity and sovereignty of the country”.
The bench also agreed with Mehta’s argument it was the HC did not issue an acquittal or discharge order, and that no ruling by the trial judge was reversible. Justice Trivedi said it is established law that an acquittal decree cannot be made in an appeals court, without revoking the verdict that the court of trial had made in its conviction decision.
The bench noted that it “is in the view that a thorough examination is necessary regarding the challenged ruling and the decision of the HC is in question” and said that many crucial legal issues must be looked at.
In response to these questions, the bench stated that it would consider “whether taking into consideration Section 465 of the CrPC… following the end of the trial and finding the accuser guilty on the merits and appreciation of evidence the appellate court has the right to be justified in dismissing the defendant… due to the basis of an irregular sanction or sanction, if there is one”.
Section 465 CrPC stipulates that the order of a trial court cannot be reversed due to the irregularity of any sanction or prosecution except if the court believes it, it has caused a breach of justice.
The court will determine the possibility of “in a situation in which the court of trial has found the accused guilty on the merits based on the evidence on record and has then found the accused guilty of the offenses that they were tried for… The appellate court has the right to justify exempting the accused on grounds of lack of sanction or irregular sanction, and more specifically in cases where a proper application did not specifically address the objection to the absence of sanction at the time of trial and the trial was allowed to continue, and afterward the trial court found the accused on the basis of evidences in evidence?”
The bench asked why the accused has not brought up an issue regarding sanction at trial, the court said it would also look at whether there are “consequences of not bringing up the issue concerning sanction during the trial , and afterward allowing the court of trial to go further, despite the opportunity provided to the accused when he was recording, and the subsequent assertion under Section 313 of the CrPC if there was no objection to the absence of sanction was raised at the moment of taking cognizance was made”.
In the presence of the state, Mehta said the accused had not raised the issue of sanction in the initial stage of trial and only raised the issue in the appellate phase. He also claimed that the gravity and seriousness of the offenses for which the accused was found guilty cannot be ignored.
In arguing that the goal of a sanction is to ensure that the accused is not subjected to a lengthy and gruelling trial, Mehta submitted that “if you are found guilty in an extensive trial, there will not be a unjust trial”.
The Senior Advocate R Basant, appearing for Saibaba claimed the absence of a sanction at the date of framing or taking cognizance charge, and therefore Section 465 CrPC wouldn’t applysince the law is about irregularity or error of sanction and not about the absence of it.
The court was interested in knowing whether the accused raised any specific concerns regarding the lack of sanction in the course of trial.
Basant stated that there was no formal application made, but the matter was discussed in a conversation during cross-examination. He pleaded with the court to not to revoke the HC ruling and sought to bring attention to the medical condition of Saibaba in which he claimed to be “90 percent physical disabled” and suffers from a variety of issues. The claim is just about his brain being involved in the ideological process and not more.
Justice Shah responded, “so in the sense that Maoist operations are in question the brain plays an important role”.
The court will decide the case on the 8th of December.