Appeal – Support for Political Prisoner- Dr G.N SAIBABA – 90% disabled professor in DU
Greetings from the Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr. G N Saibaba! The Committee salutes everyone who pitched in for keeping alive the specific case of Dr. G N Saibaba till date and stresses the urgent need to keep the momentum till justice is rendered in the case for all the accused. The Committee looks forward to the continued support of all to ensure that Dr. Saibaba gets permanent bail.
As you may know Dr G N Saibaba—a 90 percent disabled professor teaching English literature at the Ram Lal Anand College in Delhi University—is currently undergoing treatment after he was released on bail on medical grounds by the Bombay High Court. His arrest and incarceration was a desperate attempt of the India State as part of its war on the tribal people in Central and East India to silence all voices against its anti-people policies introduced under the garb of “development”. The persistent campaign of the Committee about the health problems and other hardships faced by Saibaba in the highly inhospitable egg shaped cell (anda cell) of Nagpur Central Jail had alerted the concerns of many a democratically inclined section both in the subcontinent and outside. The concerns about his fragile constitution as well as the multiple health problems that cropped up in judicial custody thanks to the near total insensitivity of the prison authorities clubbed with a vengeful administrative apparatus coordinated from the Centre had made people raise questions about the sadistic and cruel manner in which a differently abled person is being treated in the prison.
It is at that juncture that the High Court of Maharashtra intervened on the basis of a letter written to the Chief Justice by an activist from the Vidharba region of the state. 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 for three months on health grounds. Finally the PIL was disposed off by the bench of the Chief Justice, which extended the temporary bail for another three months, i.e. till end of December 2015.
The trial of the case on Dr. G N Saibaba and others under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) started on the 27 October 2015 at the Gadchiroli Sessions Court in the state of Maharashtra. Though the Sessions Court had initially directed Dr. Saibaba to be physically present in the court on the commencement of the trial asdemanded by the
prosecution, it later relented to the plea of the defence lawyer and has granted exemption from appearing. In the meantime, the lawyers of Saibaba have approached the Nagpur Bench of the Maharashtra High Court (which is the bench where his earlier pleas for relief was being sought) for permanent bail. This is slated to come up for arguments on the 17 November 2015.
After his release on temporary bail, Dr. Saibaba has been undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Delhi for multiple health problems pertaining to the heart, spinal cord, kidneys, gall bladder and the left shoulder, which became totally dysfunctional in prison. He needs to continue the treatment under specialist doctors. Although the major part of the expenses for his treatment will be reimbursed by the college, a large amount of money has to be spent personally as many aspects of the treatment as well as the incidental aspects are not covered by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). Moreover, Saibaba is only being given half of the salary (that he last drew), although as per rules he is entitled to three fourth of his salary while being under suspension.
Till date, the Committee has been able to sustain the campaign with generous contributions made by several teachers, intellectuals, writers, artists and activists. The detailed accounts of contributions received since his arrest along with expenses incurred on the campaign and medical treatment are available with the Committee. Now, apart from the legal and medical expenses, the family also needs support as they can hardly afford to maintain themselves with the meagre emolument in the form of half of last drawn salary depleted further with cuts in the allowances. Moreover, as the University has issued an eviction notice, Saibaba has to vacate the residence at Gwyer Hall that was allotted to him by the University, and find a suitable accommodation that is wheelchair friendly. Needless to say, this adds to the cost of living.
The Committee, therefore, appeals to one and all to contribute for the emergent needs of the campaign as well as the medical, legal, and other expenses of Dr. Saibaba till he is reinstated in his teaching position. Contributions may be made through the bank account of Saibaba’s wife, the details of which aregiven under below:
Name: A.S. VASANTHA KUMARI
A/c No. 30577065300
Bank& Branch: State Bank of India, Delhi University Branch
Address: University Road, University of Delhi, Delhi -110 007.
IFSC code: SBIN0001067
Kindly drop an email to
> after you make a contribution. Best regards!
(Hany Babu M.T.)
On behalf of
THE COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENCE AND RELEASE OF DR G N SAIBABA