Bombay HC
Varavara Rao

The Bombay High Court has granted bail poet and activist Varavara Rao on medical grounds for six months.

The High Court granted bail to the 81-year-old poet, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, for a period of six months.

Rao was granted bail on the condition that he remains in Mumbai and be available for investigation whenever needed.

A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale also directed that the octogenarian poet be discharged from Nanavati Hospital.

Rao was arrested in 2018 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case and has been behind the bars since then.

In jail, he tested Covid-19 positive and has since been in and out of the hospitals due to his health.

The bench said, “We feel this is a genuine and fit case to grant relief or else we will be abdicating our constitutional duties as a protector of human rights and right to health covered under right to life of Article 21 of the Constitution.”

“Although the material on record shows that the health condition of the under-trial is precarious, we feel that his condition is precarious, sending him back to prison is fraught with the risk,” the High Court bench said.

While granting bail to 81-year-old Varavara Rao, the Bombay High Court said he shall not leave Mumbai.

The Bombay High Court said after six months, Varavara Rao shall report back to Taloja Jail to surrender or apply for an extension.

Rao is one of 10 activists arrested initially by the Pune Police in connection with an alleged nexus between Elgar Parishad and Maoist outfits.

The case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in January of 2020.

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