Immediate Medical care and Disability Support for Dr Saibaba-End this brutal incarceration
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On March 7, 2017, Dr GN Saibaba, Professor of English at Delhi University, was convicted by the Gadchiroli sessions court, under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, read with Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code. Dr Saibaba is 90% disabled. Yet, the court found no grounds to show him any compassion. In the court’s opinion, Saibaba deserved harsher punishment and a life term was, in fact, a lesser sentence.
Dr Saibaba is particularly known for his active voice against the rigorous dispossession of the indigenous rights by the corporates, facilitated by the government in India.He has worked actively for the rights of all marginalized communities including the dalits, tribals, women and others. He has involved in protests against the Operation Green Hunt that was initiated by the Government of India around 2009 to annihilate tribals from the forests of India and to compel them to give up their land to powerful corporates.
The court, while hearing the case, refused to retract confessions from two accused, even after they alleged that the statement was extracted from them under torture and intimidation. The Evidence Act, in Section 24, clearly makes any confession under fear of torture, inadmissible in court.
Instead, the court decided to reject a crucial witness testifying the illegal search of Dr Saibaba’s house. The primary evidence leading to the judgment were certain files and articles which may have been accessed by Dr Saibaba from his computer and the copy of a newspaper that provides a tenuous link to Maoists. Even mere slogans about political prisoners were counted as evidence for his Maoist affiliations.
Dr Saibaba, a disabled man with body paralysis, is under tremendous pain for speaking his mind. The court and prison authorities denied him proper medical care. In 2018, the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, released a statement expressing their concern about the gross violations of the basic human rights of Dr GN Saibaba. Despite his deteriorating health condition, he has been denied basic medical care and is reportedly being held in solitary confinement.
Presently, he is suffering from over 19 fatal medical ailments that require immediate treatment, without which, Saibaba may not survive. Yet, on March 25, 2019, the bail application of Dr GN Saibaba was rejected by the Nagpur High Court Bench.
We are shocked by this decision and demand immediate medical care and disability support for Dr GN Saibaba. His treatment in prison is nothing short of torture and a case of systematic and painful killing by the State. We condemn such injustice and demand the fulfillment of the Right to Life of Dr GN Saibaba.
Please watch the attached video on the case of Dr Saibaba and additional documents for further information on the case. For any other queries, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please express your concern and Solidarity by signing our petition that we intend to submit to the Chief Justice of India, President of India, the Law, Justice Minister of India and to every other concerned authorities. :
Below is the text of the letter that we shall send out
The President of India
The Prime Minister of India
The Chief Justice of India
The Law and Justice Minister of India
Access to Justice for Dr GN saibaba
We are writing to you to express our deep concern about the progress of the case of former Delhi University Professor, Dr GN Saibaba.
To our utter surprise, the Bail application of Dr GN Saibaba was denied by the Nagpur High Court Bench on March 25, 2019. Dr Saibaba is 90% disabled and his health condition has deteriorated immensely in these years due to neglect in prison. In 2018, the United Nations Human Rights Commission passed a statement, urging India for the release of Human Rights Defender, Dr GN Saibaba. He is reportedly being kept in solitary confinement. He is suffering from over 19 medical ailments and without immediate medical care,he shall not survive. He is unable to move or sleep in his prison cell. He complains of unbearable pain. One of his hands has stopped working because of the careless treatment by prison authorities.
This terrible incarceration appears to be nothing less than inhuman torture which is driving Dr Saibaba towards a low and painful death. This behavior is an insult to the Constitution of India that was founded on principles of social justice and human dignity.
Having followed, the judgement in his case, State of Maharashtra v Gokalkonda Naga Saibaba, S.C No. 13/2014&13/2015(March 7,2017), we have certain questions on the point of law and the admissibility of the evidence that was presented. Our questions are, as follows:
1) The Court, chose to deny the retraction of the confessional statements by the Accused 1 and Accused 2, even after they alleged that the statement was extracted from them under torture and intimidation. Even though, the Evidence Act of India, in section 24, clearly makes any confession under fear of torture, inadmissible, why was the statement found to be valid by the Court?
2) Why were the repeated allegations of custodial torture by the police ignored by the Court?
3) What were the legitimate grounds for ignoring the testimony of Mr Jagat Bhole about the illegal search of the house of Dr Saibaba?
4) The primary evidence that lead to the judgment, were certain articles that may have been accessed by Dr Saibaba from his computer and the copy of a newspaper that may be use used to establish contacts with the Maoists. Which part of the Evidence Act of India views this as a suitable primary evidence?
Besides the judgement, why has Dr Saibaba, still not been granted an interim suspension of sentence under 389 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code of India? In our understanding, in the judgement of Kashmira Singh v State of Punjab, AIR 1977 SC 2147: (1977) 4 SCC 291: 1977 Cr LJ 1746 the Supreme Court had clearly described the jurisprudence and the standing of the law in such matters. The Court had stated that it would be a manifested travesty of justice to detain a person for many years, who may ultimately be found to not be guilty.
Dr Saibaba has been in prison for over three years now and suffers from over 19 serious medical complications. His Right to Life as guaranteed by the Constitution of India has been grossly violated.
These actions are also contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a State Party and the United Nations Convention against Torture, to which, India is a signatory. For your information, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoner, also forbids the denial of medical assistance and disability support to prisoners.
Under the circumstances, we would like to ask you about the present status of the case of Dr GN Saibaba and what are the medical and disability support that he has been provided with, on custody? Why has Dr GN Saibaba not been granted an interim bail u/s 389 on medical grounds?
Please find attached, a copy of the OHCHR statement, a statement of his wife, Mrs Vasanta Kumari and copies of some letters of Dr Saibaba from his prison.
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