Rights: The Bombay High Court has granted temporary bail on medical grounds to 81-year-old poet and activist Varavara Rao, who has been in custody since August 28th, 2018, awaiting trial in the Bhima-Koregaon case. Rao would have to surrender after completion of the bail period of six months.
Rao, who is currently undergoing treatment at Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital where he was admitted by the Maharashtra government, has been granted bail on the condition that he will remain in Mumbai and be available for investigation. The court further asked him to furnish a personal bond of INR 50,000, and also to be present at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court for trial. He has also been forbidden from establishing any contact with his co-accused in the case.
In a writ petition filed earlier this month, his lawyer, Indira Jaising, had highlighted Rao’s poor health condition before the Bombay High Court, saying that of the 365 days since last February, he had spent 149 days in hospital.
The Bhima-Koregaon case, being probed by the NIA, involves allegations of provocative speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31st, 2017, which the police claimed led to violence the next day near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial.
Varavara Rao and nine other activists were accused of plotting the violence with Maoists. Rao, who headed Veerasam, an association of revolutionary writers, has denied the charge.
Read this article on the state of justice in India.