The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail on medical grounds to 84-year old renowned poet and rights defender P Varavara Rao, who has been booked under the draconian UAPA in the Bhima Koregaon case for alleged links with banned Maoist organization.
A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the order in the Special Leave Petition filed by Rao challenging the Bombay High Court’s refusal to grant him permanent bail on medical grounds.
“The medical condition of the appellant has not improved to such an extent over a period of time that the facility of bail which was granted earlier be withdrawn. Considering the totality of circumstances, the appellant is entitled to bail on medical grounds”, the bench said while deleting the condition imposed by the Bombay High Court that he should surrender after 3 months.
Rao, who has been in custody for over two years, had approached the top court seeking permanent medical bail which the NIA had opposed stating that his actions were allegedly furthering the agenda of banned organisation, Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has told the Supreme Court that Varavara Rao should not be granted bail since “Rao is engaged in continuous unlawful activities against the Government of India.”
“Rao was not merely associated or supported CPI(Maoist) but he was constantly fulfilling the agenda of the banned organisation and was being appreciated by the members of CPIM,” read the affidavit filed by NIA.
Rao’s actions went against the interests of the state and public at large, the NIA further said.