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Bombay High Court Reserves Order In Varavara Rao's Pleas Seeking Permanent Bail & Permission To Reside In Telangana

Sharmeen Hakim
21 March 2022 12:47 PM GMT
Bombay High Court Reserves Order In Varavara Raos Pleas Seeking Permanent Bail & Permission To Reside In Telangana
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The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its order on poet P Varavara Rao's pleas seeking permanent bail on medical grounds and permission to reside at his home in Telangana. Rao is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon - Elgar Parishad caste violence case.A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and GA Sanap heard arguments advanced by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the...

The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved its order on poet P Varavara Rao's pleas seeking permanent bail on medical grounds and permission to reside at his home in Telangana. Rao is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon - Elgar Parishad caste violence case.

A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and GA Sanap heard arguments advanced by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the National Investigation Agency and Senior Advocate Anand Grover for Rao.
The octogenarian presently resides at a rented apartment in Mumbai after he was granted medical bail for six months on February 1, 2021. Rao cited his delicate health and the high cost of living in Mumbai while on bail.
The High Court had observed that his continued incarceration was inconsistent with his health.
"With all humility at our command, keeping in view of the human condition, in view of advanced age and inadequate facilities at Taloja jail hospital, we are of the opinion this is a genuine and fit case to grant relief or else we will be abdicating our constitutional duties as a protector of human rights and right to health covered under Article 21," the court had observed granting him temporary bail.
Grover argued that Rao had early signs of Parkinsons and there is a high possibility of him developing blood clots in his brain. He emphasized that even today Taloja Central Prison did not have the facilities required to deal with his ailments.
"The road is downhill. He may collapse because of tremors anyday. If he develops a brain clot in Taloja, what will he do? Either the NIA has not read the (Nanavati Hospital ) report or doesn't understand the seriousness."
Grover cited the high cost of living in a city like Mumbai and asked why Rao couldn't attend the NIA Court in Hyderabad to mark his presence.
He further emphasized that the court's powers under section 437 of the CrPC are wide enough to grant permanent bail.
"If arrests can be made from across the country, why can he not report to the NIA court in Hyderabad?"
Grover was assisted by Advocates R Satyanarayayan and Advocate Aditya Chitale.
The ASG submitted that Rao's request to reside in Hyderabad was considered by the earlier bench, but not granted. Initially 6 months time was granted, that was over in August 2021.
He relied on the latest summary report on Rao's health from a private hospital to say that he was stable. 
"We are not experts in the field of medicines. Everything depends on what the doctors are saying. They haven't said his condition is not stable," the ASG argued.
He further submitted that Rao was not granted permanent bail on merits. "The offence is a very serious offence which concerns national security and if found guilty attracts the death penalty."
He said that Rao would be provided all the medical facilities.
In his plea, the poet had submitted that he suffers from lacunar infarcts (dead brain tissue) due to arterial blockages in the brain that deals with intelligence, memory, and visual processing area brain.
The Case
The NIA has accused Rao and 14 other activists of furthering the banned CPI(Maoist)'s agenda and conspiring to overthrow the government. They are booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) based on letters/emails primarily retrieved from their electronic devices.
As part of a criminal conspiracy, NIA alleged that the Elgar Parishad Cultural Event was organized in Pune on December 31, 2017. The agency alleged that the inflammatory speeches at the event contributed to the caste violence at Bhima Koregaon the following day.
The accused have claimed that while most of them hadn't participated in the event or weren't named in the FIR, the electronic evidence is planted.
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