81-year-old poet-activist Varavara Rao granted bail after three years by Bombay HC

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81-year-old poet-activist, Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case has been granted has granted interim bail for six months The Bombay High Court

Rao, who has been under custody awaiting trial since August 2018, should either surrender or apply for an extension after a bail period of six months, the bench said, Indian Express reported.

Rao has been granted bail on the condition that he has to remain in Mumbai and should be available for investigation. The court further asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and also to attend the NIA Court for trial. “However, he may apply from exemption from personal appearance before NIA court.” Rao will be discharged from Nanavati Hospital depending upon his condition today and to remain within jurisdiction of NIA Court Mumbai for a period of six months

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale said if it did not grant Rao medical bail, it would be abdicating its duty to protect the principles of human rights, and a citizen’s fundamental rights to life and health.

On 1 February, the HC closed all arguments in the case and reserved its verdict on Rao’s medical bail plea and his wife Hemlatha’s writ petition that alleged a breach of his fundamental rights due to inadequate medical care and his continued incarceration.

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

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