Alleged ‘Urban Naxal’ Varavara Rao, who was arrested in 2018 for his involvement in the Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon case, has been finally granted interim bail by the Bombay High Court on medical grounds. As per reports, the interim bail has been granted for a period os six months.
The Bombay High Court has ordered Rao to remain in Mumbai and be available for the police investigation whenever required. The order was passed by justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale. The HC has also ordered Rao to be discharged from the Nanavati hospital where he was being treated at the state’s expense.
Rao was arrested by a spacial team of Maharashtra Police in August 2018.
The #BombayHighCourt on Monday granted bail on medical grounds to 81-year-old #VaravaraRao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-#BhimaKoregaon case, who has been under custody awaiting trial since August 28, 2018.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 22, 2021
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Rao was arrested in November 2018 along with nine others in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case which was transferred by Pune police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). In July this 2020, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had accused Rao of attempting to take undue advantage of the Coronavirus outbreak after he applied for bail on grounds of health.
Rao was being treated in Nanavati Hospital
The Bombay HC had ordered Varavara Rao to be shifted from the Taloja Jail to the Nanavati Hospital in November 2020. The order was passed by a Bench of Justices SS Shinde and Madhav Jamdar while hearing a plea filed by Rao’s wife Pendyala Hemalatha seeking his release from Taloja jail on medical grounds.
Rao, aged 81, has been reportedly suffering from dementia and urinary tract infections.
On November 12, the High Court had rejected the bail plea filed by Rao’s wife under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking his immediate release on health grounds. The plea was filed after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the matter and directed the Bombay High Court to hear his pending bail plea at the earliest. In the plea, Hemalatha has alleged that Rao was not being provided appropriate medical treatment by the government and this amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to health, dignity and life under the Constitution.