The Bombay High Court has directed the state government to inform the family of activist Anand Teltumbde, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case, about the outcome of the Covid-19 test done on him on Thursday.
A Division Bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and V G Bisht on Friday heard a petition by activist Vernon Gonsalves (61) and professor Teltumbde (68), who were co-accused Varavara Rao’s co-inmates at Taloja Central Jail, seeking they should be tested for Covid-19 for being in close contact with Rao.
Telugu poet and activist Rao was shifted to Nanavati Hospital on July 19 for neurological and urological treatment. He had been undergoing treatment at the state-run St George Hospital since July 16 after testing positive for Covid-19.
On July 28, responding to the plea, public prosecutor Thakare said Gonsalves had undergone a Covid-19 test and was ascertained negative for the same. The jail authorities also said Gonsalves would be allowed to speak to his wife through video-conference.
The state, meanwhile, had said it will respond to Teltumbde’s plea to undergo Covid-19 test by Friday. On Friday, senior advocate Mihir Desai for applicants informed the court that as Gonsalves had tested negative for Covid and had informed his family about it.
However, Desai submitted that the family of Teltumbde was anxious as they were unaware of the status of his Covid-19 test and that he had not spoken to the family as well.
The state be directed to inform whether Teltumbde had been tested for Covid-19 infection and provide the result for the same, Desai said.
Public Prosecutor Thakare for state informed the High Court that Teltumbde was tested on Thursday, July 30, and his report would be available Saturday, which would be submitted to the Court on Tuesday.
After hearing submissions, the bench directed the state to inform Teltumbde’s family about the Covid-19 test result and also let family speak to him and posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday, August 4.
Meanwhile, the High Court had on July 28 directed the Nanavati Super-Specialty Hospital, Vile Parle, to submit a health report of Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, within three days from the time the hospital received communication on the court’s order.
The HC had also permitted Rao’s family members to visit him in the hospital.
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