Elgar Parishad Case: Bombay HC Says Varavara Rao Need Not Surrender Until 28 Oct
The Bombay HC on Thursday said Varavara Rao doesn't need to surrender before the Taloja prison until 28 October.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday, 14 October, said that poet-activist Varavara Rao, 82, does not need to surrender before the Taloja prison authorities until 28 October, PTI reported. The court will hear his plea seeking an extension of the bail granted to him on 26 October. Rao is an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
On 22 February 2021, the Bombay High Court had granted Rao an interim bail for six months on medical grounds and asked him to surrender and return to judicial custody on 5 September.
However, Rao's lawyer, R Sathyanarayanan, and senior counsel, Anand Grover, filed an application seeking an extension of the interim bail last month. In the application, Rao also requested to stay in Hyderabad, his hometown.
After the high court’s intervention, Rao was admitted to Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, where he underwent treatment for various ailments. Rao is staying in a rented accommodation in Mumbai with his wife.
As per PTI, a bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and SK Kotwal on Thursday extended the date of surrender to 28 October. It also said that it would hear Rao’s plea on 26 October.
Varavara Rao's Plea
In his plea to the Bombay High Court, Rao had stated that the doctors at Nanavati Hospital suspected him of having a cluster headache, a neurological issue that needed further examination. He had also said that he suffered from multiple ailments, including "urinary tract infection with recurrent hyponatremia, suspicion of Parkinson's disease, lacunar infarcts in six major lobes of the brain, and some eye problems," PTI reported.
Seeking the extension of his medical bail by another six months, Rao stated that the Taloja prison is not equipped to cater to his medical problems. He also said that his return to custody would only deteriorate his health, and he might even die.
Rao also stated that the living costs and health facilities in Mumbai are unaffordable for him. He then requested the court to let him stay in Hyderabad during his bail.
The National Investigation Agency's Opposition
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), however, said Rao's medical reports do not indicate that he suffers from any severe ailment and opposed his plea for extension of medical bail and shifting to Hyderabad.
The NIA stated that Rao’s medical reports don’t form a ground for a further extension of the bail. The NIA further said that the Taloja prison would provide Rao with the “best medical facilities”.
Earlier this year, Father Stan Swamy, a co-accused in the Elgar Parishad case, had died of cardiac arrest on Monday, 5 July, a day before his bail hearing.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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