The Bombay High Court Monday granted six months medical bail to 82-year-old Dr. PV Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Dr. Rao is facing charges under the ‘Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act’ (UAPA).
A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Manish Pitale said it would have abdicated its duty in protecting his fundamental rights if it had denied bail to the ailing Telugu poet.
Dr. Rao is presently undergoing treatment in Nanavati hospital.
The bench, however, imposed stringent conditions for him to follow while on bail. They are: Dr. Rao will not leave the jurisdiction of the Special NIA Court; will attend the NIA court whenever summoned; will deposit his passport; will not speak to the media about his case; will not tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.
After the pronouncement of the order, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought a stay of the order for three weeks, the court turned the request.
The court was ruling on a plea filed by Pendyala Hemalatha, the wife of Dr Varavara Rao, alleging violation of the poet’s right to life, dignity and health on account of the ‘degrading’ and ‘inhumane’ treatment being meted out to him in Tajolia jail.
The plea alleged that the facilities available in Talojia jail were not compatible with Dr Rao’s medical requirements.
Senior advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover appeared for Dr. Rao in the Bombay High Court.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.
The story will be updated once order is out on the court’s website.