Varavara Rao’s house arrest extended

The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday extended the house arrest of revolutionary writer Varavara Rao by three weeks.

A division bench comprising Justice C. V. Nagarjuna Reddy and Justice T. Amarkanth Goud passed the order, disposing of a habeas corpus writ petition filed by Mr. Rao’s family members after he was arrested by the Pune police and taken there on August 28. The bench said Mr. Rao could move the local court in Pune in the meantime.

The bench said the writer also had the legal remedy of approaching the Mumbai High Court to file a petition, seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Pune police against him. The Pune police searched the houses of Mr. Rao, his son-in-law and journalist K. V. Kurmanath and another journalist Kranthi in Hyderabad on August 28.

They seized material from their houses. Mr. Rao was arrested and taken to Pune on the charge of conspiring with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) to create disturbances in Maharashtra. Four other rights activists were also arrested by the Pune police the same day on near similar charges.

However, following a writ petition filed by eminent persons like Romilla Thapar challenging the action of the Pune police, the Supreme Court passed an order to keep them under house arrest. The ‘house arrest’ was subsequently extended from time to time. The recent extension of house arrest would expire on Friday.

The High Court bench observed that Mr. Rao could implead himself in the writ petition filed by another rights activist Gautam Navlakha in the Delhi High Court, challenging the Pune police move to arrest him. The Delhi HC stayed the arrest of Mr. Gautam but the Pune police moved the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court’s order.

The bench didn’t agree with the contention of the petitioner’s lawyer D. Suresh Kumar that the transit order given by a local magistrate in Hyderabad to shift Mr. Rao to Pune was not valid.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 5:38:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/varavara-raos-house-arrest-extended/article25326295.ece

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