Responding to an interim bail plea on medical grounds filed by Elgaar Parishad case accused and Telugu poet Varavara Rao, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an affidavit opposing the plea, saying Rao was trying to take undue benefit under the garb of Covid-19 and his old age to seek bail. The NIA said the bail application had to be decided on the facts and circumstances of each case and perusal of the incriminating material against Rao.
The affidavit by the NIA, filed through Vikram Khalate, Superintendent of Police, NIA head office branch, Mumbai, opposing Rao’s interim bail plea was filed in the High Court on July 16. Rao had undergone a swab test on July 14 and was confirmed positive on July 16 evening.
It stated, “The appellant accused Varavara Rao under the garb of the current situation on the account of global pandemic COVID-19 and his old age, is trying to take undue benefit of the aforesaid situation in seeking bail on the grounds mentioned in his application.” It also stated, “The prison authorities have responded timely and provided necessary medical aid to the appellant accused Rao. The applicant accused was admitted to J J Hospital for the complaint of giddiness on May 28 and after medical treatment, he was discharged on June 1 as he was found asymptomatic and haemodynamically stable.”
Furthermore, the affidavit stated that Rao’s medical record or the report submitted by superintendent of J J Hospital did not suggest that he is suffering from any such ailment which necessitates that he immediately obtain treatment in a multi-speciality hospital.
NIA said, “Thus, it is clear that the pleading with regard to medical conditions of petitioner is merely a ruse to obtain an order of interim relief which is not available to petitioner otherwise on the merits of the case.”
The High Court had Monday sought responses from the NIA and the Maharashtra government on whether family members of Rao can see or visit him from a reasonable distance in view of the 80-year-old’s critical condition.
The court had said it would not pass orders on the merit of the bail plea at this stage and sought responses from authorities. Rao’s plea will be heard on Thursday.
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