Supreme Court of India on Wednesday dated 10.08.2022 allowed 82-year-old Telugu poet P Varvara Rao, an accused Related to Bhima Koregaon violence, to remain out on bail considering his deteriorating medical condition and advanced old age, even though he has been in custody for more than two years and trial in the case is yet to begin.
The case against Rao pertains to alleged inflammatory speeches made at an Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on New Year's Eve, 2017 which, police claimed, triggered violence the following day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. Rao claimed in his petition that his brain scan revealed lacunar infarcts (dead brain tissue) in six major lobes of the brain because of clots formed by occlusion of blood-supplying arteries. He further mentioned the death of Father Stan Swamy, who was also an accused within the case but died in custody last year amid his fight for bail on health grounds, and alleged that if he remained in jail, he would meet the identical fate as Stan Swamy. Additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju appearing for the agency argued that the age of the appellant cannot be a factor in granting bail when the charges are grave. He said that the communication between the appellant and the head of the CPI (Maoist) showed that once he is out on bail, the activities of the banned organization will be revived. Rao is facing a probe over the Bhima Koregaon violence that happened in January 2018 and has been charged with serious offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and other provisions under the Indian legal code. The bench said, “It is made clear that the benefit of bail extended to the appellant (Rao) is based only on his medical condition.” Imposing conditions on bail, the bench directed that Rao won't be allowed to leave the jurisdiction of Greater Mumbai where the trial is being held. “Appellant shall not misuse his liberty or get in contact with any witnesses or try to influence the course of the investigation,” the order imposing conditions said, whilst the bench directed that any medical treatment undertaken by the petitioner shall be duly intimated to NIA. Last week dated 10.08.2022, the Supreme Court, while granting bail to Rao on medical grounds, imposed a condition that he shouldn't leave the Greater Mumbai region without the permission of the trial court. A few days backdated 17.08.2022, Senior Advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Rao, submitted that the medical treatment in Mumbai is pricey. Also, Hyderabad is Rao's native place and his recovery would be better in a very homely atmosphere. Though the bench had not issued notice to the NIA within the petition, Additional solicitor General SV Raju, who happened to be in the courtroom when the matter was taken, objected to Rao's plea. The ASG said that though Rao was earlier allowed to undergo a cataract operation, he didn't avail of that opportunity. Also, there are hospitals in Mumbai which give free treatment. "Funds aren't an issue for him", the ASG said The bench, also comprising Justices Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, said that it'll let the trial court take a decision rather than the Supreme Court decide. Grover made an invitation to set a timeline saying that the court took over a year to decide the plea for bail on medical grounds. Accepting the request, the bench imposed a deadline of 3 months. "This order shall not be taken an opinion on the merits of the application", the bench clarified.
Tags : #Supreme Court #NIA #Bhima koregaon #Maharashtra #ASG # justice UU Lalit #SLP