With professor GN Saibaba’s mother Gokarakonda Suryavathi, 74, passing away on August 1, four days after the Bombay High Court denied the former Delhi University professor a temporary bail of 45 days, his lawyer questioned why the state government which claims to have an Ambedkarite ideology, opposed the plea.
“They have no sympathy left for a mother on death-bed who wanted to see her son, who was 90 percent disabled and whose health had deteriorated, that too during this pandemic time,” says GN Saibaba’s advocate Nihalsing B Rathod. Prof Saibaba who is serving a life term in a Nagpur prison for Maoist links has been a vocal advocate of the rights of Dalits, adivasis and other oppressed communities.
An affidavit Rathod had filed before the Bombay High Court had said that Saibaba’s mother, a cancer patient had suffered a paralytic attack after undergoing chemotherapy sessions and was admitted in hospital. “The matter happened to be heard the same day that his mother was admitted and we had informed the court about her condition through the affidavit,” he says.
Arguing the plea, Rathod had told a division bench of Justice AS Chandurkar and Amit Borkar that a mother cannot be denied the opportunity to see her son before she closes her eyes. The plea was opposed by the state’s special public prosecutor stating that Saibaba’s brother and brother’s wife were there to take care of the mother and that his parole plea seeking release to be able to tend to his mother had already been rejected.
The court in its order rejecting the interim bail did not mention any observation on the plea of letting Saibaba see his mother. The order said that from the reply of the chief medical officer of Central Prison, Nagpur it finds that appropriate medical aid is being given to Saibaba and that it did not find merits in the application.
In a statement after the demise of her mother-in-law, Saibaba’s wife Vasantha and daughter Manjeera said, “I feel extremely saddened by the loss of this kind and caring woman and even deeply disappointed in myself that I could not fulfill her final wish of letting her meet her son. I knew her from my childhood and shared everything with her like dear friends.” The statement further said that his mother was desperately waiting to be reunited with her eldest son. Vasantha and her daughter who live in Delhi and could not go to Hyderabad to visit her due to quarantine restrictions.
Telangana convener of Committee for Defence and Release of GN Saibaba K. Ravichander called it "inhuman" that Saibaba’s plea to be able to see his mother in such conditions, was denied and questioned if the judiciary had lost its entity.