Varavara Rao’s detention cruel, inhuman: Indira Jaising to Bombay HC

Varavara Rao   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, arguing for 82-year-old poet Varavara Rao’s medical bail, told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that the activist’s detention was cruel and inhuman, and amounted to violation of his right to life and dignity.

Ms. Jaising commenced her submissions before a Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale after Mr. Rao’s counsel, senior advocate Anand Grover, concluded his arguments.

Mr. Grover said Mr. Rao, who is being treated at Nanavati Hospital since November 18, should be discharged and sent home. He said Mr. Rao should not be sent back to Taloja Central Jail as the prison administration is not capable of looking after him with the existing infrastructure.

Mr. Grover said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took six months to share copies of the evidence with Mr. Rao and there are hundreds of witnesses in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. “He is already 82 years old, how old will he be when the trial ends?” Mr. Grover asked. He said Mr. Rao can be granted bail for three months and can report to any authority in the meantime.

The Bench asked if there are any judgments in which bail has been granted on medical grounds in cases where the accused has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Mr. Grover then read from a judgment of the Guwahati High Court. However, the Bench said that there are two judgments of the Bombay High Court where bail had been rejected.

Mr. Rao was arrested on August 28, 2018, in the case and the NIA’s chargesheet stated, “All accused have conspired to further the ideology of terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist) and abetted violence, brought into hatred and incited disaffection towards the government established by law and promoted enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste and, community.” Ms. Jaising will continue her arguments in the court on Thursday.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 5:45:48 PM |

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