81-year-old Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao
81-year-old Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao
File Photo

Mumbai: Even as there is some improvement in his health, the 81-year-old Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao should not be shifted to Taloja jail as it doesn't have the apt infrastructure, urged his counsel before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday. The HC would continue hearing the arguments on Wednesday.

A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale is presently seized with the plea filed by Rao and his wife P Hemalatha seeking his bail on medical grounds.

The NIA has sought the bench's direction to shift Rao back to Taloja jail.

However, senior counsel Anand Grover for Rao pointed out that the prison hospital doesn't have sufficient infrastructure to monitor his health.

"Admittedly, the latest report state that my client is hemodynamically fit for discharge. But, once discharged from the Nanavati hospital he must not be sent to Taloja jail," Grover argued.

"I say so, because my client's health needs constant monitoring and the infrastructure at Taloja jail hospital isn't that sufficient to keep a constant check on his health," the senior counsel added.

To buttress his case, Grover highlighted the list of various ailments his client suffered from including kidney failure, blood pressure and depression. He pointed out that his client was presently prescribed at least 20 medicines including anti-depressants.

"Thus, I think my client must be sent back to his family, where he would recover a bit fast and his health too can be monitored because his daughter and son-in-law are doctors," Grover said.

"If sent to his family my client would recover a bit more fast and would be able to stand the trial. But if he is sent to jail, he wouldn't be able to face the trial properly," the counsel argued.

In his submissions, Grover further pointed out that while his client was admitted in JJ hospital, the staff there, didn't took his proper care.

At this, Justice Shinde pointed out that both JJ and St George's hospital were considered to be "one of the best" among all the hospitals in Maharashtra. The judge further reminded that several politicians and also a former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court had taken treatment in JJ hospital.

Further, Grover highlighted the fact that his client was acquitted from 24 cases and thus he "isn't someone who would abscond and not face the trial.

Grover also submitted that his client was suffering from dementia and thus must be sent to his family by granting medical bail.

To this, ASG Anil Singh for the NIA pointed out that Rao's latest reports do not mention anything about dementia.

Intervening in the submissions, Justice Pitale questioned if dementia was a revsersible condition.

Grover responded saying that his client's sodium levels are low and thus delirium is administered to him, which brings about symptoms of dementia.

The matter would be heard on Wednesday.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal