The Supreme Court on Monday extended the interim bail granted to activist Varavara Rao till further orders, Live Law reported. The court will hear the activist’s plea seeking permanent medical bail on July 19.

Rao is among the 16 activists who have been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly conspiring to set off caste violence in Bhima Koregaon village near Pune in 2018. He was arrested on August 28, 2018, from his home in Hyderabad. On February 22 last year, the Bombay High Court granted him bail on medical grounds and he was released from jail on March 6, 2021.

Since September, the High Court has been extending Rao’s date of surrender. However, it has refused to grant him permanent medical bail for treatment.

His plea filed against the High Court order said, “The petitioner, an 83-year-old renowned Telugu poet and orator, who has undergone over two years of incarceration as an undertrial and is currently enlarged on bail on medical grounds by the Bombay High Court, respectfully submits that any further incarceration would ring the death knell for him as advancing age and deteriorating health are a fatal combination.”

The activist has said that he suffers from neurological ailments, abdomen pain which could be due to umbilical hernia and asymptomatic Parkinson’s disease. He also needs to be operated for cataracts in both eyes.

The activist approached the Supreme Court on June 30, seeking permanent medical bail.

On Monday, a bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia adjourned the hearing for permanent bail on a request from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Live Law reported.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, representing Rao, did not object to Mehta’s request.

“At the joint request of counsels appearing for the parties, list the matter on July 19,” the court said. “The interim protection enjoyed by the petitioner will ensure to his benefit till further orders.”

Mehta pressed for interim protection till July 19 and not until further orders, The Hindu reported.

The court did not change its order.