The Supreme Court suspended the Bombay High Court’s order discharging former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court discharging the accused mainly on the ground of irregular and/or invalid sanction to prosecute Accused and no sanction to prosecute at the time of taking cognizance by the trial Court and not deciding the appeals on merits, the State of Maharashtra has preferred the present Special Leave Petition(s).
Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, appearing for the State of Maharashtra, submitted that looking into the seriousness and gravity of the offences for which the accused were convicted by the trial Court and the Court is prima facie of the opinion that detailed scrutiny is required so far as the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is concerned and as the High Court has not at all dealt with and/or considered anything on merits, more particularly, the seriousness and gravity of the offences for which the accused were convicted and that during the pendency of the appeal, the accused were in jail, except for a short time that too in the year 2015 on medical grounds.
Thereafter the application filed by
Senior Advocate R. Basant, appearing on behalf of Accused G.N. Saibaba, submitted that the Accused is aged 55 years, he was a professor
Earlier also the Court specifically observed in the order that a case is made out for bail considering the medical condition of Accused and that the accused are ready and willing to furnish bail bond as per Section 437-A of the Cr.P.C. and even the High Court, while passing the impugned judgment and order has also directed the accused to furnish the fresh bond and therefore the presence of the accused is secured, it is prayed not to suspend the judgment and order passed by the High Court.
The Division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Bela M. Trivedi noted that, even according to Accused, the appeals were argued on merits, the High Court has not entered into the merits of the case and considered anything on merits of the judgment and order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial Court.
The bench opined that it is a fit case to exercise powers under Section 390 Cr.P.C. and to suspend the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court.
The court noted that the accused are convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 read with Section 120-B of the IPC by the learned trial Court, after detailed analysis of the evidences on record and on re-appreciation of the entire evidences on record.
It was said by the court that the offences for which the accused were convicted by the learned trial Court are very serious and if ultimately they are tested by the High Court on merits and on merits the State succeeds and the judgment and order passed by the trial Court is upheld, the offences are very serious against the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
It was observed that the High Court has not at all dealt with and considered anything on the merits of the judgment and order passed by the trial Court, though even according to the counsel appearing on behalf of Accused, the detailed submissions were made on behalf of the Accused on merits of the appeal and on the judgment and order of conviction and sentence imposed by the trial Court.
The court stated that so far as the Accused is concerned, the accused has been discharged on the ground that there was no sanction the day on which the trial Court took cognizance and even famed the charge. However, the same question is required to be considered in detail, more particularly, on the ground stated.
The bench suspended the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court.
Case title: The State of Maharashtra v/s Mahesh Kariman Tirki & Ors.
Citation: SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) Diary No(s). 33164/2022