Elgar Parishad Case: Bombay High Court grants Varavara Rao interim bail on medical grounds
Telugu poet and writer Varavara Rao was arrested by the Pune police for his alleged links with Maoistesakal

Elgar Parishad Case: Bombay High Court grants Varavara Rao interim bail on medical grounds

Poet Varavara Rao, who was in custody for three years since August 2018, is currently undergoing treatment in the Mumbai-based Nanavati hospital where he had been admitted by the Maharashtra government following the high court's intervention.

The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim bail for six months to 81-year-old Poet Varavara Rao, who was accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, on medical grounds.

Rao, who was in custody for three years since August 2018, is currently undergoing treatment in the Mumbai-based Nanavati hospital where he had been admitted by the Maharashtra government following the high court's intervention.

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale ordered that Rao be discharged from the hospital, depending on his current health condition, and released on bail immediately after his discharge.

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“If it did not grant Rao medical bail, it would be abdicating its duty to protect the principles of human rights, and a citizen's fundamental rights to life and health,” the Bombay High court bench said.

The Bench has also issued stringent conditions on his bail, stating that Rao will have to stay within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai NIA court for the period he is out on bail. He will also have to submit his passport before the NIA court. He has been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount. The court said that Rao cannot establish any contact with the co-accused.

On February 1, the HC closed all arguments in the case and reserved its verdict on Rao's medical bail plea and his wife Hemlatha's writ petition that alleged a breach of his fundamental rights due to inadequate medical care 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 police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

(With inputs from PTI)

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