The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state prison authorities to consider the age and health of veteran Telugu poet and Elgaar Parishad case accused Varavara Rao, 80. The court asked all parties to maintain humane approach while arguing on his bail plea on health grounds.
A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale made the remarks while hearing a plea by Rao’s wife, Pendyala Hemalatha, seeking his release from the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.
The plea raised grievances that the prison authorities have not been providing Rao appropriate medical attention since 2018. The high court, on November 19, had allowed Rao to seek treatment in Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital for 15 days which was extended by the court till further hearing. Rao was shifted to the private hospital following a court order on November 18.
On January 7, the court had also directed the hospital to file a fresh medical report on Rao by the next hearing.
On Wednesday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the NIA, handed over two fresh medical reports from Nanavati Hospital on Rao’s health. Advocate R Sathyanarayanan, representing Rao, said that he would make submissions after going through the reports.
Justice Shinde said, “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.”
The court then declared Thursday 3pm as the next hearing time and asked all parties to consider Rao’s age and health while making arguments.