Rao was initially arrested by the Pune Police under sections of the the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for connections with Maoists.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to 82-year-old Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao on medical grounds. The elderly activist had been under house arrest since 2018 for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case.
This comes after the Bombay High Court in February 2021 observed that there were medical issues with Rao and granted bail for six months on medical grounds after considering Rao’s age and the fact that he had spent two and a half years in custody. He was, however, not allowed to leave Mumbai.
The apex court said, “The medical condition of the petitioner has not improved yet. In our view, the petitioner is entitled to bail on medical grounds.” However, although the top court has not set any limit, it asked Rao not to leave the jurisdiction of the trial court without seeking permission. “The appellant shall not misuse his liberty and not get in touch with any of the co-accused or try to influence the course of the investigation. He will be entitled to medical facilities,” the Supreme Court said.
The court further said, “It is made clear that the benefit of the bail is granted only on medical conditions and other observations should not be a reflection of merits.”
Rao was initially arrested by the Pune Police under sections of the the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for having connections with outlawed Maoist groups.
Although a chargesheet has been filed in the case, some of the accused are yet to be taken into custody.