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Bombay HC allows Varavara Rao to remain in Nanavati Hospital till December 14

Varavara Rao. File.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said poet Varavara Rao, 81, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, will remain at Nanavati Hospital till December 14.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik was hearing a plea filed by senior advocates Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grower on behalf of Mr. Rao’s wife Hemlata. Mr. Rao was shifted from Taloja Central Jail to the private hospital on November 18 for medical examination and appropriate treatment.

The court was presented with Mr. Rao’s medical reports from the hospital. After reading them, the Bench said that although there was a slight improvement, Mr. Rao must continue to remain at the hospital.

The Bench then said both parties — the petitioners and the probe agency — must go through the reports and said Mr. Rao’s family can continue to see him at the hospital.

On November 18, Maharashtra counsel had informed the court that State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has agreed to shift Mr. Rao to Nanavati Hospital for 15 days as a “special case” and not as a precedent.

However, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the National Investigation Agency, had opposed the same. He had argued that government-run hospitals were well-equipped to treat Mr. Rao and if it was allowed, all prisoners would seek special treatment moving on. He said Mr. Rao could be shifted to the State-run J.J. Hospital. Ms. Jaisingh then interrupted him and said, “The last time Mr. Rao was there, he was found in a pool of his urine.”

Ms. Jaisingh had recounted Mr. Rao’s medical problems and said, “If he dies, it will be a custodial death.” She listed that he had dementia, had had a heart attack, liver failure and kidney failure, and was COVID-19 positive. She also said that there were multiple post COVID-19 complications that took place in an elderly person, he was already bedridden, and he had had a urinary tract infection because his catheter had not been changed for three months.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 8:31:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/varavara-rao-to-stay-at-private-hospital-till-december-14-hc/article33241103.ece

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