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Decision to terminate Prof Saibaba's services 'inhuman, arbitrary, against natural justice'

By Our Representative 

Taking strong exception to the decision of the Ram Lal Anand College, Delhi University, to terminate services of well-known left-wing human rights activist Dr GN Saibaba as associate professor with effect from March 31, 2021, a civil rights group fighting against his continued incarceration for his alleged Maoist links has said the move is “arbitrarily”, and is “in complete violation of all principles of natural justice.”
In a statement released in the wake of the termination, the Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr GN Saibaba said, “The college had been given a clear directive from the University of Delhi to send a second Show Cause Notice to Dr Saibaba, regarding the termination of his services, in June 2019. In November 2020, the College wrote again to Dr Saibaba’s wife, stating that he would be given 15 days to reply.”
Signed by the committee convener G Haragopal, the statement said, “She replied stating that Dr Saibaba was unable to reply because of extreme ill-health, and the lockdown due to COVID-19 only made matters worse for him. However, without waiting for Dr Saibaba’s reply to this second notice, the college has ... proceeded to terminate his services.”
Ninety per cent physically handicapped, Dr Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 for alleged Maoist links, but was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on June 2015 on medical grounds and he was released in July 2015. He was sent back to jail in December 2015 was released again in April 2016 after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
Dr Saibaba as sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2017 under different sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code for his connections with the banned Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an organisation linked with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) -- a charge he denies.
On 30 April 2020, a panel of experts with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Indian government to immediately release Dr Saibaba due to his “seriously deteriorating” health condition, but its plea was disregarded.
The civil rights group said, “It is pertinent to note here, firstly, that Dr Saibaba has appealed his conviction in the Nagpur High Court, and is hopeful of a favorable verdict; and secondly, that he is also reported to have contracted Covid-19 earlier this year.” It added, under the circumstances, the college decision “is nothing short of inhuman to terminate his services in this unjust manner.”
Demanding his immediate reinstatement, the group said, the college authorities should “reverse their decision, and reinstate Dr Saibaba in service until his appeal against his conviction is disposed of.”

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