Mumbai: Justice Rohit B Deo of Bombay High Court, who acquitted former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba from charges of having alleged Maoist links after reversing his life sentence imposed by the trial court, has resigned from office.
The judge, who is sitting in the Nagpur bench of the High Court, disclosed the same in open court on Friday but did not disclose the reason behind his decision.
According to some of the lawyers who were present in the court, the judge said that he “cannot work against his self-respect”. He also apologised in the open court and said that he has no hard feelings against anyone. He also said that he is sorry if he had hurt anyone.
He was appointed as the additional judge of the Bombay High Court on June 5, 2017 and was made a permanent judge on April 12, 2019.
He was due to retire on December 4, 2025.
He served as the assistant solicitor general representing the Central government at the Nagpur bench of the HC. he was also appointed as the advocate general of Maharashtra.
Last October, the bench headed by Justice Deo acquitted Saibaba and five others observing that the trial against them was “null and void” in the absence of a valid sanction under section 45(1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The trial court had sentenced them to life in prison in 2017.
Within hours of Sainbaba’s acquittal, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) knocked the doors of the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the same. In April this year, the SC had set aside Saibaba’s acquittal and sent the matter to Nagpur bench to be decided afresh by a different bench. The apex court had asked the HC to decide the case within four months.
A bench led by Justice Deo, on July 26, had stayed the effect of a government resolution (GR empowering the state government to cancel punitive proceedings initiated against contractors working on the Samruddhi Mahamarg over alleged illegal excavation of minor minerals.