In putting GN Saibaba back in jail, after Bombay High Court acquittal, Supreme Court gives rise to questions

Source: The post is based on the article “Colin Gonsalves writes: In putting GN Saibaba back in jail, after Bombay High Court acquittal, Supreme Court gives rise to questions” published in the Indian Express on 17th October 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Relevance: About the sanctions under UAPA.

News: A day after the Bombay High Court discharged a former Delhi University Professor and four others in a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 over alleged Maoist links, the Supreme Court suspended the HC judgement till further orders.

About the Bombay High Court ruling and reason for discharge
Read more: The question of sanction under UAPA: why Bombay HC has acquitted G N Saibaba

The High Court judgment had two core findings. 1) The cognisance was taken by the trial court without sanction being granted by the sanctioning authority as required by the UAPA, 2) Section 45 (2) of UAPA requires an exhaustive review of the prosecution evidence by an authority independent of the prosecution. Thus the “Sanction for prosecution …shall be given only after considering the report of such authority appointed by the Central Government”.

The High Court described the Director of Prosecution’s report as “laconic” and said “the report contains the conclusion sans reasoning.

What is the reason for suspending the High Court ruling?

The SC said, “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 learned trial court”.  But, these are “important questions of law and facts to be considered”.

The court also said it is unnecessary to waste time going through a lengthy trial because the initial flaw is fatal.

Must read: UAPA and the recent judgments – Explained, pointwise
What are the challenges associated with suspending HC’s decision?

-The Supreme Court in Baij Nath Prasad Tripathi case, held that if cognisance is taken without complying with the requirement of valid sanction, the entire trial shall stand vitiated.

-This was not a civil case where a suspension approach could be taken. This was a criminal case.

Print Friendly and PDF