The Bombay High Court has recently granted a six-month bail to 82-year-old Dr. Varavara Rao, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, due to his health. The order was passed by a Bench composed of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale, who were hearing two separate pleas for this case. One of the pleas was by Dr. Rao asking for bail and the other was by his wife, Pendyala Hemlatha, who sought the Court’s intervention because of the alleged violation of her husband’s fundamental right to health. While giving out the bail, the Bench imposed a condition that Dr. Rao could not make any public statements related to the proceedings, stay within the jurisdiction of the Special NIA Court, and should not establish any contact with the co-accused in the case.
Dr. Rao was arrested on August 28, 2018, and subsequently charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with 16 others. He is currently in Nanavati hospital due to his deteriorating health and advanced age.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who represents the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in court, stated that the jail authorities in Taloja prison can provide all medical facilities for Dr. Rao and so bail should not be granted. The court refused to take this since Senior Advocates Anand Grover and Indira Jaising who appeared for Dr. Rao proved to the court that the jail is ill-equipped to deal with Rao’s critical condition if he relapses to his previous critical state.