The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Nanavati Super-Specialty Hospital, Vile Parle, to submit a health report of Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, within three days from the time the hospital received communication on the court’s order.
A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and V G Bisht also directed the hospital to elaborate on the line of treatment given to Rao, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 16.
“Nanavati Hospital is directed to submit a report as per nature of the treatment given to the petitioner and his health status in three days from the date of communication of this order,” the bench said. The court said it will examine the report and then consider a plea filed by Rao’s family seeking a copy of such report.
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. During the treatment, doctors found his condition to be stable but observed he had neurological problems. The court had earlier observed that Rao was shifted to Nanavati hospital as “prima facie” he was facing severe health conditions.
On Tuesday, the high court also permitted Rao’s family members to visit Rao in the hospital. “In view of the statement made by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, family members of the petitioner are permitted to visit Rao, who is admitted at Nanavati Hospital, subject to hospital protocol and in accordance with government norms in respect of the Covid-19 patient.”
HC hears Gonsalves, Teltumbde plea for Covid test
On Tuesday, the high court bench also heard a plea by activist Vernon Gonsalves (61) and professor Anand Teltumbde (68), Rao’s co-inmates at Taloja Central Jail, seeking they should be tested for Covid-19 being in close contact with Rao. Gonsalves and Teltumbde are also accused in the Elgaar Parishad case.
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, said it will respond to Teltumbde’s plea to undergo Covid-19 test by Friday.
NIA opposes Sudha Bharadwaj’s interim bail plea
The court also heard an interim bail plea submitted activist Sudha Bharadwaj, a co-accused in the case, on medical grounds and due to comorbidities in view of Covid-19 outbreak in prisons.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is investigating into the case, opposed Bharadwaj’s plea and said during the prevailing pandemic situation anyone could get infected for Covid-19 and the jail authorities had been taking all precautions as per the government and ICMR guidelines and various high court orders.
The court has granted NIA time to file an additional affidavit to the plea consisting judgments supporting its argument and posted further hearing on Bharadwaj’s plea to August 4.
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