Elgar Parishad case: Bombay High Court grants poet Varavara Rao

The Bombay High Court on Monday gave interim bail for 6 months on medical grounds to ailing poet and activist Varavara Rao, an implicated in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

A bench of Justices S Shinde and Manish Pitale considered the sophisticated age of Rao (82 ), his “precarious” health condition, quality of medical help supplied to him in prison, and medical centers available at the Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, while holding that his case was “healthy and authentic for grant of relief”.

Rao is currently admitted in Nanavati Health center, a personal medical center in Mumbai.He has been in custody because August 28, 2018, awaiting trial in the event, which is being probed by the National Examination Company (NIA). The HC purchased that depending upon his present health condition, Rao be discharged from the healthcare facility, and released on bail right away after that.It likewise refused NIA counsel Extra Lawyer General Anil Singh’s request for a remain on Rao’s discharge from the healthcare facility for 3 weeks.The bench stated once it had granted bail and when the healthcare facility had declared Rao suitable for discharge, it could not give any stay.”With all humility at our command and remembering the applicant’s precarious health condition … we believe that this is a genuine and in shape case for grant of relief,” the bench said.”Otherwise, we will be abandoning our constitutional duties as protector of human rights and right to health covered under the right to life of Short article 21 of the Constitution,” it said.The bench, however, enforced several stringent conditions on Rao’s bail.The HC said it was mindful of the NIA’s apprehension that once out on bail, Rao may do something to negatively impact the probe into the case.Hence, it directed Rao to stay in Mumbai, within the jurisdiction of the NIA court in the city.The bench likewise stated Rao should transfer a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and 2 sureties of the like amount.It likewise restricted Rao from establishing contact, or making nationwide or international phone calls to his co-accused or even anybody else participated in “comparable activities”. Rao will likewise need to attend all case hearings, respond to court summons, and make fortnightly WhatsApp video calls to the Mumbai police.The court also said a large number of visitors can not be allowed to fulfill Rao, and directed him to send his passport prior to the NIA court.The court also restricted Rao from making any statements connected to the case prior to the press, and indulging in any activity similar to what led to the FIR against him.It allowed Rao to look for exemption from personal appearance prior to the NIA court.The court also refused to approve the demand of Rao’s lawyer Anand Grover for authorization to the activist’s attorneys to meet him.Once the six-month period is over, Rao will have to surrender before the NIA, or apply to the HC for extension of the bail.Rao was admitted to the Nanavati Medical facility by the state government in November in 2015 following HC’s intervention.On February 1, the HC closed all arguments in the case and reserved its decision on Rao’s medical bail plea and his better half Hemlatha’s writ petition that alleged a breach of his essential rights due to insufficient treatment and his continued incarceration.The case pertains to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the cops claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the borders of the western Maharashtra city.The authorities have also claimed that the conclave was arranged by people with declared Maoist links.

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