Varavara Rao
Varavara Rao
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Mumbai: In a relief for Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to order shifting him back from city's Nanavati hospital to Taloja jail at least till the first week of January.

A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik said it would consider passing such an order only after perusing a fresh report indicating the status of his health.

"We will first need to see his fresh medical reports and only then would consider passing any orders (to shift him to jail)," Justice Shinde said while adjourning the matter till January 7.

The bench was dealing with petitions filed by Rao and his wife P Hemalatha, seeking bail for the octogenarian activist, who is behind the bars for over a year now. The plea seeks bail on medical grounds given his "deteriorating health" in the prison.

Appearing for Rao, senior counsel Anand Grover told the judges that there is some improvement in his client's health. "However, his blood pressure is being monitored as it keeps fluctuating," Grover said.

The senior counsel further pointed out that the infrastructure in the prison is not like that in Nanavati hospital and thus his client must not be sent back to the jail at present.

At this, additional solicitor general Anil Singh, for the NIA told the judges that they must pass orders. "Let him be sent back to the jail and only then his bail plea on medical grounds must be heard," he submitted.

Similar was the opinion of state prosecutor Deepak Thakare, who too urged the bench to issue orders to shift Rao to the Taloja jail.

Rao, along with dozen of other human rights activist has been in the jail over accusations of having links with the banned CPI(Maoists) and also for instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence. The activists are also booked for plotting to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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