Bombay High Court today granted bail for six months to Varavara Rao, the poet-activist who was arrested in the Koregaon-Bhima case. The bail was allowed on medical grounds.81-year-old Rao is an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case and is lodged in Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai as an undertrial. However, he is currently admitted to the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. Jaising is the counsel for Rao's wife Hemlatha in a writ petition filed last year by the latter, alleging the breach of Rao's fundamental right to life due to his continued incarceration without adequate medical facilities.
Jaising told a bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale on Wednesday that Rao's right to dignity and health were being breached due to his detention and that the court must exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to release him from prison. "I am submitting that there is violation of right to life and dignity. The conditions of his [Rao's] detention are cruel, inhuman and degrading," Jaising said. "The right to health and dignity is a faucet, a fundamental right under Article 226 of the Constitution of India," she said. Rao has been in an out of the JJ hospital in the city and the Taloja prison hospital since his arrest in June 2018. On July 16 this year, he tested positive for coronavirus, after which he was shifted to the Nanavati hospital in the city. He was discharged from Nanavati following a final assessment report on July 30 and sent back to the Taloja prison.