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Varavara Rao’s Hospital Stay Extended by the Bombay High Court to January 7, 2021


Varavara Rao, the poet and activist, has been ordered by the Bombay High Court to continue his stay at the Nanavati Hospital till January 7, 2021, reported Bar and Bench.

The 80-year-old activist was arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case in July 2018. He has been receiving treatment at the Nanavati Hospital for over a month.

On November 18, the Bombay High Court had issued an order to shift Rao to the Nanavati Hospital immediately for 15 days, as a special case.

On November 12, the High Court denied Rao’s bail plea, and asked for the latest medical reports to be submitted. As per the court’s record, the last report submitted was from July. The court had also ordered a panel of doctors from Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital to examine Rao over video and physically visit him at the jail.

Rao’s wife had filed a bail plea on medical grounds at the Bombay High Court, after the Supreme Court told high courts to exercise their jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty during the November 11 bail plea hearing of Republic TV chief editor Arnab Goswami.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, who is representing Rao, said that though Rao’s condition has improved from the previous month, his blood pressure is still fluctuating, he feels “giddy” all the time, and his hands keep tremoring.

He also told the High Court that his family was satisfied with the treatment at the Nanavati Hospital. After his frequent visits to the Taloja Jail hospital and the state-run JJ Hospital since his arrest in July, Rao had complained of the hospitals being “over-crowded”.

Though the Maharashtra government and the National Investigation Agency urged the court to transfer Rao from Nanavati Hospital to the Taloja Jail hospital or JJ Hospital on the grounds that his health has improved, the hearing bench denied the request and asked to see his most recent medical reports.

The bench, comprising Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik, has asked the Maharashtra government to submit a fresh medical report with details of Rao’s health at the next date of hearing.

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