The Supreme Court has granted bail to Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, on medical grounds. The petitioner is 82 years old and has been under house arrest since 2018.
The Bombay High Court in February 2021 noted that there were medical issues with the petitioner. In light of the observation, it granted bail for six months on medical conditions after considering that the Rao’s age and the fact that he had spent two and a half years in custody.
Though the chargesheet has been filed in the case, some of the accused are yet to be taken into custody. Charges also haven’t been framed and the case is pending consideration by the trial court.
“The medical condition of the petitioner has not improved yet. In our view, the petitioner is entitled to bail on medical grounds,” the SC said. Not setting any limit to the time, the court directed Rao to not leave the jurisdiction of the concerned trial court without seeking permission.
“The appellant shall not misuse his liberty and not get in touch with any of the co-accused or try to influence the course of the investigation. He will be entitled to medical facilities,” the court said.
“It is made clear that the benefit of the bail is granted only on medical conditions and other observations should not be a reflection of merits,” it added.
Rao, 82, was initially arrested by the Pune Police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for having connections with banned Maoist groups. He was granted bail on medical grounds for six months by the Bombay High Court on February 22. However, he was ordered to stay in Mumbai after his release.
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