The Bombay High Court on Monday rapped the police for ‘working blindly’ and treating the ailing Delhi University professor Dr G N Saibaba —- who was jailed in Nagpur for alleged Maoist links —- ‘like an animal’.
Allowing Saibaba’s brother and wife to meet him, the court directed the prison authorities to shift the professor to a hospital of his choice. “You (state) allowed the family to meet him only for three minutes? A threat to security? Why are you behaving like this? That’s the way they behave? These agencies believe that when some work is entrusted to them, they should work blindly and treat Saibaba like an animal,” the court said.
Earlier this month, activist Purnima Upadhyay sent a letter to the high court pointing out the deteriorating health of Saibaba. Vijay Hiremath, who appeared for Upadhyay, said the June 17 order of Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon was not complied with.
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The prison authorities had been asked to take Saibaba for treatment while allowing him to be accompanied by his wife and brother, Professor Dr Gokarakonda Ramadevudu.
The court had also directed Dr Sanjay Ramteke, as suggested by the petitioner, to accompany Saibaba during his medical examination. Despite the order, the police did not do as directed, alleged Hiremath. On June 18, Saibaba underwent a medical check-up under strict security at a private hospital in Nagpur.
“The police authorities did not feel the need to get him admitted and brought him back to prison. Dr Ramteke was not even informed by the police,” said Hiremath, while handing over Ramadevudu’s affidavit.
Dissatisfied with the police’s actions, the court passed an order clarifying that Saibaba’s wife and brother will accompany him during his check-up. Also, the court recorded names of three hospitals — one of which will be chosen by Saibaba’s family. Saibaba, who has spent six months in the prison’s ‘Anda cell’, had developed several ailments, leaving him crippled.