13 April 2022 5:53 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to grant permanent medical bail to Telugu poet and Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad accused P Varavara Rao. It however extended the period of temporary bail by three months for his cataract operation and issued directions to expedite the trial.The Court has also refused him permission to reside at his home in Telangana. A division bench...
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to grant permanent medical bail to Telugu poet and Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad accused P Varavara Rao. It however extended the period of temporary bail by three months for his cataract operation and issued directions to expedite the trial.
The Court has also refused him permission to reside at his home in Telangana.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and GA Sanap passed the order on two writ petitions and an interim application filed by Rao for extension of bail or permanent bail considering his ailments, and the high cost of living on rent in Mumbai.
"Petition seeking permanent bail is dismissed. Temporary bail extended for 3 months. Permission to stay in Hyderabad disallowed. Temporary period of bail is extended mere for cataract operation," the Bench pronounced the operative part of its judgment.
It added that during the course of the argument, certain facts concerning Taloja prison were brought to its attention. The deficiencies have been noticed and certain directions have been issued in that regard.
On February 1, 2021 the HC had granted bail to the 82-year-old for six months and imposed stringent conditions, one of them being that Rao shouldn't leave the jurisdiction of the Special NIA Court in Mumbai.
The bench had observed that the octogenarian's 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.
Senior Advocate Anand Grover for Rao argued that along with his pre-existing neurological issues, Rao 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 was also displaying early signs of parkinsons.
In his petition Rao said that 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.
Grover further expressed the apprehension that Rao's heath may worsen if he is lodged in prison.
The affidavit filed by NIA SP Vikram Khalate in the Bombay High Court states that Taloja Central Prison provides the "best medical facilities," so the Telugu poet should surrender.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh 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 also relied on the latest summary report on Rao's health from a private hospital to say that he was stable.
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 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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