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Varavara Rao Approaches Bombay High Court For Extension Of Medical Bail & Permission To Reside At Home

Sharmeen Hakim
3 Sep 2021 12:48 PM GMT
Varavara Rao Approaches Bombay High Court For Extension Of Medical Bail & Permission To Reside At Home
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Of the 16 accused arrested in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case, Rao is the only one to be granted temporary bail.

Telugu poet PV Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case has approached the Bombay High Court to extend his medical bail and for permission to reside at his home in Telangana.In his petition, Rao has said he is still ailing and hasn't flouted a single bail condition; therefore, he was deserving of the reliefs sought. Residing with...

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Telugu poet PV Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case has approached the Bombay High Court to extend his medical bail and for permission to reside at his home in Telangana.

In his petition, Rao has said he is still ailing and hasn't flouted a single bail condition; therefore, he was deserving of the reliefs sought. Residing with his 72-year-old wife, away from home, Rao has said he finds it very difficult and unaffordable to live and access health services in Mumbai.

The HC had granted bail to the 84-year-old for six months in February and imposed stringent conditions, one of them being that he should not leave the jurisdiction of the Special NIA Court in Mumbai.

"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 observed granting him bail.

Of the 16 accused arrested in the case, Rao is the only one to be granted temporary bail. Co-accused Father Stan Swamy passed away on July 5, ahead of his bail hearing.

Rao's application was listed for hearing on Friday. Since it couldn't be taken up due to paucity of time, the court is likely hear it on Monday. Following Rao's counsel's submissions, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for NIA orally stated that coercive steps won't be taken until then.

Health Problems

Along with his pre-existing neurological issues, Rao said he also suffers from lacunar infarcts(dead brain tissue) due to arterial blockages in the portion of the brain that deals with intelligence, memory and visual processing area of the brain. He's been recommended immediate cataract surgery in both his eyes.

Rao said that his health may revert to what it used to be if he is sent back to prison.

"All medical parameters of the applicant go to show that if he is sent back to judicial custody, it will not be long before his condition reverts back to what it was when he had o be admitted in JJ Hospital three times from May 2020 – till November, when due to this Hon'ble court's intervention, the applicant was shifted to Nanavati."

Modification of Bail Condition

If his bail is extended, living in Hyderabad is more viable for his health and finances, the poet said.

His son-in-law is a neurosurgeon with his own nursing home and his eldest daughter is an ophthalmological officer with the Government of Telangana. Additionally, his granddaughter has completed her MBBS. In Telangana, his three daughters and granddaughter would provide round the clock support for the couple, he said.

The Case

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 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 inflammatory speeches at the event contributed to the caste violence at Bhima Koregaon the following day, the agency alleged.

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: [Varavara Rao vs NIA]

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