26 Sep 2022 12:55 PM GMT
Observing that framing of charges in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad caste violence case will get delayed, the Special Court last week rejected poet-accused Varavara Rao's application to undergo cataract treatment in Hyderabad.Special Judge Rajesh Katariya cited the recent SC judgement granting Rao bail in which it was said that a decision on framing of charges must be taken within...
Observing that framing of charges in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad caste violence case will get delayed, the Special Court last week rejected poet-accused Varavara Rao's application to undergo cataract treatment in Hyderabad.
Special Judge Rajesh Katariya cited the recent SC judgement granting Rao bail in which it was said that a decision on framing of charges must be taken within three months.
"In view of above order passed by Hon'ble Apex Court this Court is required to frame charges against the accused and decide pending discharge application simultaneously within three months from the order dated 18.08.2022. If the applicant is permitted to go and stay at Hyderabad for three months, the framing of charge would get prolonged," the court observed.
On August 10, the Supreme Court granted bail to Rao on medical grounds. The following week it granted Rao permission to approach the Special NIA Court to undergo his cataract surgery in Hyderabad.
Consequently, Rao filed an application before the Special NIA Court in Mumbai seeking permission to travel to Hyderabad for three months and undergo the surgery there. He cited costs he was forced to incur in Mumbai, comparing it to the free treatment in Hyderabad.
However, Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty submitted that one of the bail conditions imposed on Rao vide order dated August 8, 2022 was that he wouldn't leave Mumbai without "express permission from the Trial Court."
In his order, the judge noted that Rao's primary ground to take treatment in Hyderabad was the difference in the treatment cost. "It is not the case of the applicant that he would not get good treatment at Mumbai," the judge said.
The NIA has accused Rao and 14 other activists of furthering the agenda of the banned CPI(Maoist) and conspiring to overthrow the government. They have been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) based on letters and emails primarily retrieved from their electronic devices.
As part of a criminal conspiracy, the NIA alleged that the Elgar Parishad Cultural Event was organised 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.
Case Title: Dr P Varavara Rao vs National Investigation Agency & Ors