Mumbai: A special NIA court on Friday rejected the interim bail pleas of 81-year-old poet Varavara Rao and Professor Shoma Sen, both accused in the Elgar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case.
Sen, 61 is lodged at Byculla jail and Rao, 81 at Taloja Central Prison presently. They had sought temporary bail on the grounds of the novel coronavirus pandemic for a period deemed appropriate by court.
In their bail applications, both had told the court that older people such as themselves with underlying conditions are more prone to the infection. Sen, in a plea filed through advocates Susan Abraham and Nilesh Ukey, had said that she has osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, glaucoma and was vulnerable to the virus. Rao had said in his bail plea filed through advocate R. Sathyanarayan that he is 81-years-old and suffers from multiple ailments.
The NIA’s Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty had opposed their bail pleas stating that their bail pleas on merit have been rejected by the Pune sessions court where the matter was being conducted earlier. Shetty had also told the court that the Supreme Court’s directions on letting under-trials out on interim bail was not applicable to Sen and Rao as the apex court’s directions are applicable to offences under the IPC whereas they have been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He had argued further that they have not produced any medical documents to support their claims in their bail pleas.
Recently Rao had been hospitalised in JJ hospital with complaints of giddiness and discharged some days later. His family had said that he had fallen unconscious in Taloja prison where he was under observation of jail doctors.