Bombay High Court rejects the permanent medical bail of Varavara Rao. The Bombay High Court rejected 82-year-old poet Varavara Rao’s permanent medical bail and held, that the “seriousness of the crime has remained the same.”
A division bench of justices of S.B. Shukre and G.A. Sanap was hearing his plea during the trials where he is seeking bail on medical grounds or the condition in his interim medical bail granted on February 22, 2021, to be modified and he is allowed to stay with his family at Secunderabad in Telangana.
The court reserved the judgment on March 21, pronounced it on April 13, and was made available on April 22.
In the Judgement, the Court said – “It is pertinent to mention that seriousness of the crime has remained the same. The allegations leveled against the accused (Mr. Rao) about his involvement in the commission of crime have remained unchanged. The observations with regard to prima facie view of the evidence to support the complicity of the accused in the commission of a crime have not changed.”
Mr. Rao’s plea mentions, that he is suffering from major Health Problems and he is showing signs of early Parkinson’s, has a memory retention problem, movement disorders with tremors, and gait instability.
He has lacunar infarcts in six major lobes of the brain, he is also suffering from dementia. Due to old age and the ailments, the chances of his survival in the conditions and environment of jail are minimal.
Senior Advocate Anand Grover representing Mr. Rao had pointed out there are no trained medical officers, nurses, staff, and other infrastructure in the hospital at Taloja Central Jail as provided under the prisons manual. Referring to the medical report by a private hospital that ruled-
“Mr. Rao appears to have normal cognitive functions indicating that he is capable of self-care and he does not require indoor medical management, certifying that he is fit for discharge”, Mr. Grover said the report does not conclude that he can be sent back to jail.
To this, the bench remarked, “It is a matter of record that the clinical opinion is against the accused. It does not suit the purpose of the accused. Therefore, it is but natural for the accused to find the ways and means to wriggle out of this report. We have not come across an iota of material to conclude that all the expert medical officers who have examined the accused have acted under the influence of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).”
Creating Enmity Between Caste Groups
As per NIA, the crime committed by Mr. Varavara Rao is very serious. “The Elgar Parishad organized by the activists Kabir Kala Manch at Pune on December 3, 2017, prompted enmity between the caste groups and led to violence resulting in loss of lives and state-wide agitation. Investigation into the crime revealed that senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist) a banned organization under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act were in contact with organizers of Elgar Parishad as well as the arrested accused persons, in this case, to spread the ideology of Maoism/Naxalism to encourage unlawful activities. The accused have conspired to overthrow the Government established by the people and establish the rule based on their ideology”, the NIA alleges.
In the judgment, the court directs the Inspector General of the Prisons Maharashtra to collect information from Taloja prison in particular and all other prisons in Maharashtra in general about the appointment of the medical officers, nursing and other staff and other facilities and provisions as per The Maharashtra Prisons (Prison Hospital) Rules, 1970 and submit a report on or before April 30.