Jailed poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links’ case, will continue to remain at Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai till January 7 next year, as the Bombay High Court on Monday extended his stay at the private medical facility.
Mr Rao, 81, has been receiving treatment for various ailments at the private hospital since last month following the intervention of the high court.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik extended his stay at the Nanavati Hospital on Monday after adjourning the hearing on his bail plea, seeking release on
medical grounds, till January 7.
The bench directed the Maharashtra government to submit a fresh medical report detailing Mr Rao’s health condition on the next date of hearing.
Mr Rao’s lawyer, Anand Grover, also informed the court that the activist’s health condition was improving.
Mr Grover told the court that Mr Rao was still being monitored by the hospital staff as his blood pressure continued to fluctuate and he was giddy most of the time.
On the instructions from Mr Rao’s daughter, Mr Grover also told the HC that Mr Rao’s family was “satisfied” with the treatment being provided to him at the Nanavati Hospital.
While the Maharashtra government and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) urged the court to transfer Rao from Nanavati Hospital to the Taloja prison hospital in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, or the state-run JJ Hospital here, the bench said it could not do so without going through his present medical reports.
“We find it difficult to discharge him (Rao) from Nanavati (hospital) and transfer him to Taloja jail. We cannot transfer him today. In the next hearing may be,” the HC said.
“We haven’t seen his fresh report. We cannot rely on the previous report,” the bench said.
Mr Rao has been in an out of the J J Hospital and the Taloja prison hospital since his arrest in June 2018.
On July 16 this year, he tested positive for COVID-19, after which he was shifted to the Nanavati Hospital.
He was discharged from the Nanavati Hospital following a final assessment report on July 30 and sent back to the Taloja prison.
Last month, he was admitted to the Nanavati Hospital again following the intervention of the bench.