Bhima Koregaon Case: SC To Hear Poet Varavara Rao’s Permanent Medical Bail Plea On Monday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday an appeal, moved by Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case accused and Telegu poet Varavara Rao, challenging a Bombay High Court order rejecting his request for permanent medical bail, news agency PTI reported. As per the report, a three-judge bench of Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia is likely to take up the matter. The Bombay High Court had on April 13, rejected Rao’s appeal of permanent bail and permission to shift to Hyderabad in Telangana, citing ill health and high expenses in Mumbai.

According to the report, senior advocate Anand Grover on behalf of the former professor and a poet, sought an urgent hearing on the matter pointing out that Rao’s interim bail, granted by the Bombay high court in April, ends on July 13.

Rao, in his appeal against the Bombay HC order, filed through advocate Nupur Kumar, said, “The petitioner, an 83-year-old renowned Telugu poet and orator who has undergone over two years of incarceration as an under-trial and is currently enlarged on bail on medical grounds by the Bombay High Court, respectfully submits that any further incarceration would ring the death knell for him as advancing age and deteriorating health are a fatal combination.”

Notably, Rao was arrested on August 28, 2018 from his house in Hyderabad in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. An FIR was registered by the Pune Police at Vishrambagh police station on January 8, 2018 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).  

The case pertains to alleged inflammatory speeches that were made at Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, police claimed, triggered violence the next day near Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

According to police, the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links. Later, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the investigation in the matter.