NIA asks Bombay High Court to reject bail to Varavara Rao due to medical stability


Anushka Mansharamani

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) asked the Bombay High Court to reject the bail plea filed by poet-activist, Varavara Rao, 81 years old on medical grounds.

Varavara Rao was arrested related to the Elgar Parishad case.

The NIA claimed that Varavara Rao’s health condition was stable and thereby his bail application must be denied.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the NIA stated that his medical reports by Nanavati hospital show that he was fit to be discharged.

ASG Anil Singh further refuted the statement passed by the Maharashtra government which stated that after discharge he would be sent back to Taloja prison and that Varavara Rao will be admitted in the prison ward at JJ Hospital, a state-run hospital.

Therefore, the question of granting him bail arises only if the court doesn’t have faith in the care that the JJ Hospital will be able to provide.

The court highlighted that Rao’s medical reports suggest that he is given 20 pills a day to which Singh responded that those pills were age-related.

Singh further claimed that Rao did not have dementia however the court stated that as per the reports submitted by JJ Hospital, the Taloja prison hospital and state-run St George hospital, issued in November last year stated dementia.

The court further stated that they have full faith in the JJ Hospital report,

Senior advocate Anand Grover, representing Varavara Rao stated that any hospital provided would be a “bed of infection” thereby stating that he must not be sent there.

The court then asked Nanavati Hospital to send a fresh medical report with all recent updates by Thursday morning and the hearing would continue in the afternoon.

The bench made these observations while hearing three petitions. One was the bail plea filed on medical grounds, the second one was the writ petition that sought Rao’s complete medical records, and third the writ petition filed by Hemlatha, Rao’s wife in which she alleged that there has been a breach in the fundamental rights guaranteed to Rao.

On 13th January the Bombay High Court stated, “The petitioner is above 80. Keep in mind his age and health conditions. While making submissions on the bail plea, reflect on his health. We are all humans, this is an issue about his health.”

Following his poor health condition, he was admitted to Nanavati Hospital on 18th November as directed by the Maharashtra government.

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