The Bombay High Court on Tuesday instructed the Maharashtra government to provide details of 80-year-old Telugu poet Varavara Rao’s medical examination to his wife, reported the Hindustan Times. Rao is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. His wife has moved the High Court to shift him from Taloja jail to Nanavati Hospital.
The High Court’s instructions came after Rao’s counsel, Indira Jaising, said that the medical report given to them on Tuesday afternoon was a “complete eyewash”. Jaising claimed that the court’s November 12 order was flouted as an incomplete medical report was submitted without attaching the test results, according to Live Law.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Madhav Jamdar was hearing two cases, a bail plea filed by Rao on medical grounds and a writ petition by his wife Hemlata on his incarceration violating his right to health and life.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the senior advocate submitted in the court that the report was prepared after Rao’s 15-minute video examination by doctors of the Nanavati Hospital. “He has to be seen by specialists and experts,” Jaising told the court. “I have categorically said that he suffers from dementia. Where is the report on his dementia?”
The Nanavati Hospital had recommended tests on November 12 that were not done, the lawyer said, adding that the Taloja jail’s hospital was not equipped to do them. “The report has not been brought on record till November 17,” Jaising said. “This is a delaying tactic.”
Following this, due to technical problems, the court postponed the matter for a physical hearing at 11 am on Wednesday, reported NDTV.
On November 12, the Bombay High Court had allowed the medical examination through videoconferencing. On October 15, Rao’s wife had moved the Supreme Court for his release. She had said that his continued custody as an undertrial amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment and is violative of his dignity. However, a three-judge bench headed by Justice UU Lalit refused to grant bail to the 81-year-old on October 29.
Rao is among the activists and academics who have been accused of making inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the authorities claim triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day. He was arrested in August 2018.
In July, his lawyer had told the Bombay High Court that Rao was almost on his deathbed. “Besides Covid-19, he suffers from several ailments, he is hallucinating and is delirious,” the lawyer had said.