Submit Report on Varavara Rao’s Health: Bombay HC to City Hospital

The Court also permitted Rao’s family to see him while he is in the hospital, subject to the hospital’s conditions.

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The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, 28 July, directed Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital to produce a report on the status of poet-activist Varavara Rao’s health, reported Bar and Bench.

The Court has also permitted Rao’s family to see him while he is in the hospital, subject to the hospital’s conditions.

Court on Rao’s Health Report

Rao, 80, is a co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. He was shifted to Nanavati hospital from St George’s Hospital on 19 July after National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) urged the Maharashtra government to ensure that proper treatment is provided to the Telugu poet, who was allegedly showing signs of delirium when he was first admitted to JJ Hospital from Taloja jail.

Rao had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in July.

“Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital is accordingly directed to submit a report showing the present status of health of the petitioner and the nature of the treatment being given to the petitioner to this Court within three days from the date of communication of this order.”   
Bombay High Court, According to Bar and Bench   

The Court reportedly said that it will then decide whether the health report is to be shared with Rao’s family or not.

Family’s Request to See Rao

Rao’s family had also requested permission to visit him from a reasonable distance, saying that he was almost on his “death bed”. The Court had, thereby, on 20 July, sought a response from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the same.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the NIA, informed the court that he was being provided with all the medical assistance required, in keeping with the ICMR guidelines, as per Bar and Bench.

Singh also told the court that the agency was not opposed to Rao’s family visiting him in the hospital, as long as the Hospital is not opposed to it, and ICMR’s specific guidelines in relation to visitation permission for COVID-19 patients are adhered to.

The Bombay High Court bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht then reportedly permitted the same.

“In view of the statement made by the learned Additional Solicitor General, family members of the petitioner are permitted to visit the petitioner who is admitted in Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital however, subject to hospital protocol and in accordance with the Government norms in respect of the COVID patient.”  
Bombay High Court, according to Bar and Bench

In a press statement, Rao’s family had previously alleged that details of Rao’s head injury were not shared with him and that “not sharing health updates of a person in judicial custody with his family is illegal, unconstitutional and inhuman.”

Rao had filed for an interim bail citing his frail health and susceptibility to COVID-19 in March, but a special NIA court rejected the plea. The court rejected it again for the second time in June. Rao tested positive for COVID-19 on 16 July.

Rao’s co-accused Vernon Gonsalves and Anand Teltumbde had also sought the Court’s direction to be tested for COVID-19, reported Bar and Bench. The same bench had heard their plea, and while Gonsalves had already tested negative for the virus, the Court was informed that the State will provide a response on Teltumbde’s plea on 31 July.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench)

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