Elgar Parishad case: Bombay HC orders Varavara Rao's examination by private hospital via video

The court was hearing a petition filed by the jailed activist's wife, seeking that he be shifted to Nanavati Hospital for better treatment and that he be released on bail

Press Trust of India November 12, 2020 19:08:12 IST
Elgar Parishad case: Bombay HC orders Varavara Rao's examination by private hospital via video

File image of jailed poet Varavara Rao.

Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed a panel of doctors from a private hospital in Mumbai to conduct medical examination of the jailed poet-activist Varavara Rao through video link.

81-year-old Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad- Maoist links case, is lodged as an under-trial in the Taloja prison in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

A division bench led by Justice AK Menon was hearing a petition filed by Rao's wife Hemlata, seeking that he be shifted to the private Nanavati Hospital for better treatment, an independent medical board be set up to assess his health, and he be released on bail.

Rao's lawyer Indira Jaising claimed that his health was "fast deteriorating", and there was a legitimate apprehension that he might die in prison.

Rao suffers from dementia, is confined to bed in the prison hospital since August and needs to wear diapers, the lawyer said.

If Rao passed away in prison, it would be a case of "custodial death", advocate Jaising said, adding that his detention violated his Right to Life under Article 21.

The high court initially suggested that a team of doctors from the Nanavati Hospital visit Rao in prison. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case, opposed the suggestion. It also opposed Jaising's request that Rao be shifted to the Nanavati hospital.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, the NIA's lawyer, said prisoners can not choose their doctors and allowing it would set a wrong precedent.

"Tomorrow, every prisoner will say shift me to Nanavati. Besides, we should not underestimate the credibility of our government doctors and hospitals," Singh said.

The court, however, said there would not be any harm if a video consultation was allowed. "The main concern is to assess the present medical
condition of the accused. Instead of a knee-jerk reaction of shifting him out of prison without knowing his health condition, let the Nanavati doctors assess," the judges said.

The HC directed doctors at the Nanavati Hospital to submit their video assessment report as soon as it was ready, and submit a physical assessment report, if such examination was felt to be necessary, by 16 November.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Supreme Court rejects Chanda Kochhar's appeal against sacking as CEO of ICICI Bank
Business

Supreme Court rejects Chanda Kochhar's appeal against sacking as CEO of ICICI Bank

The top court was hearing Kochhar's appeal against an order of the Bombay High Court, which had dismissed her plea against termination, noting that the dispute arises from a contract of personal service

Stan Swamy is being provided with sipper and straw since his arrest, says Taloja jail official
India

Stan Swamy is being provided with sipper and straw since his arrest, says Taloja jail official

'We know he is a patient, he suffers from Parkinson's disease. Why would we not provide him things which he requires?' the official said

Elgar Parishad case: Varavara Rao to be shifted to Mumbai's Nanavati hospital for 15 days
India

Elgar Parishad case: Varavara Rao to be shifted to Mumbai's Nanavati hospital for 15 days

The jailed activist had filed a bail application seeking to be shifted to Nanavati Hospital immediately, owing to his 'diminishing neurological and physical health condition'