Mumbai, May 19: Delhi University's associate professor Hany Babu, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, moved the Bombay High Court on Wednesday seeking medical aid for an eye infection which he developed after contracting COVID-19.
Babu's counsel, senior advocate Yug Chaudhry, approached a vacation bench comprising Justices S.J. Kathawalla and S.P. Tavade, seeking an urgent hearing on the ground that Babu, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, had also developed an eye infection due to black fungus.
Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is a rare but serious infection which has been found in several COVID-19 patients.
Babu had been admitted to the state-run GT Hospital here and was being treated for COVID-19, but not for the eye infection.
"Hany Babu is suffering from (an) eye infection due to the black fungus. For nine days he suffered in jail," advocate Chaudhry told the HC.
"At the moment, he is in the GT Hospital. He is being treated only for COVID-19 and not the eye infection. He may lose his eye sight. He is an academician," he said.
The bench then directed the GT Hospital's dean to remain present before the court via video-conferencing at 3 pm on Wednesday.
Babu, 55, who was arrested in July last year, was admitted to the government-run J J Hospital last week and later moved to the GT Hospital.
As per his family and lawyer, Babu developed an acute eye infection on May 3, and is yet to receive appropriate medical care.
Last week, Babu's wife Jenny Rowena, said in a press conference that his family was struggling to get information from prison authorities and the NIA, which is conducting a probe into the case, about his health condition.
Babu was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July 2020.
The Elgar Parishad case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in the district.
The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The case was later taken over by the NIA.
Several other activists, including Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao, had been arrested in the case.