MUMBAI: poet activist Varavara Rao, a defendant in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist Left case, is fit enough to be sent back to Taloja Prison in Navi Mumbai from a private hospital in Mumbai where he is currently being admitted. the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.
However, Rao will remain at Nanavati Hospital at least until Monday, the next trial date for his medical bail request and his wife Hemlatha’s request for violation of Rao’s fundamental rights for “continued incarceration inappropriately.” Healthcare “.
The filing was made by the additional Attorney General (ASG) Anil Singh, who appeared for the NIA before a bank of the judges SS Shinde and MS Karnik.
During the day’s hearing, senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover requested the Supreme Court to give Rao bail.
Grover said the 81-year-old poet has suffered from medical problems since his arrest in 2018.
He said the authorities at Taloja Prison in Navi Mumbai, where Rao was being held as a sergeant, did not have the expertise or medical infrastructure to treat him.
Grover said it would be best for Rao’s health if he were given bail and allowed to return to his Hyderabad home.
Rao would not flee if he were given bail, Grover added.
“He (Rao) has been tried 24 times in his life, which is no joke to anyone, and he has been acquitted on all of them,” Grover told the Supreme Court.
“He was charged and acquitted. He never escaped, and has stood on trial, and he will stand on trial here, and that should be taken into account while he is on bail,” argued Grover.
However, ASG Singh stepped in to argue that Rao had requested bail on medical grounds, and therefore his lawyers are not allowed to argue about the merits of the case.
The bank noted, however, that the Supreme Court’s recent order to grant temporary bail to Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami ruled that “an Article 226 court is not bound by the prayers in a petition “. .
“The Supreme Court in Goswami’s ruling has also ruled that the Supreme Court has extensive powers under 226. The Supervisory Committee has made it clear that a temporary bail can be given under Article 226, which used to be a gray area.
“The Supreme Court has explicitly stated that the Supreme Court can issue a bail even if the lower courts have not been approached. There are paragraphs devoted to this issue,” the bank said.
The further hearing was postponed due to lack of time.
The bank suggested that the next hearing should be held via videoconference on Monday as several senior lawyers appeared on the case.
The bank also said that until then, Rao will continue to stay at Nanavati Hospital.
“The previous order must continue. We cannot break the hospital treatment process,” it said.
Put more simply, the bank also asked Grover if he remembered Rao’s poems as his advice.
Grover replied in the affirmative: “It is a legal poem.”
Lawyer Jaising requested that Rao’s lawyers meet him at the hospital.
To that end, the bank said lawyers could send Rao written correspondence through his wife, who was allowed to meet him in the hospital.
Rao has been in a JJ Non-State Hospital in Mumbai and Taloja Prison Hospital since his arrest in June 2018.
On July 16 of this year, Rao tested positive for coronavirus, after which he was transferred to Nanavati Hospital.
He was released on July 30th and sent back to Taloja Prison following a final evaluation report.
On November 18, the Supreme Court found that Rao was 81 years old, had neurological complaints and also needed treatment for Covid-19.
A person was on his death bed and under such circumstances the state government cannot say he should be treated in prison, the Supreme Court had said.
According to the Supreme Court’s observations, on November 18, the Maharashtra government agreed to move Rao from Taloja Prison to Nanavati Hospital and also to pay for his treatment.
His and his wife’s petitions alleged that he had several illnesses.
Rao and several other left-wing activists have been arrested for alleged Maoist links Elgar Parishad Conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017.