Varavara Rao disputed medical report as not suitable for his purpose: HC

The Bombay High Court, which dismissed Elgar Parishad’s case against Varavara Rao’s plea for permanent medical bond on April 14, said the 83-year-old’s clinical summary showed he had no need ongoing medical care.

Since such a summary was against Rao’s interests, it was natural for him to “find ways to evade the medical report” and “challenge its conclusions”, the HC said.

It was not the court’s job to parse the advice of medical experts, the HC said while denying Rao’s requests for extended medical bail, modified bail conditions and permanent bail.

A panel of judges SB Shukre and GA Sanap had dismissed Rao’s pleas on April 14, but a detailed order was made available on Friday.

In making the comments above, the HC bench was referring to claims made in Rao’s pleas and arguments made in court by his attorney Anand Grover.

Grover had argued that the clinical summary dated December 15, 2021 was based on Rao’s medical examination at the city’s private Nanavati Hospital.

While the summary indicated that Rao was fit for discharge, it did not provide reasons for this conclusion, and the report was also silent on Rao’s previous clinical diagnosis of early Parkinson’s disease which had been made in another private city hospital, Grover had argued.

The NIA, however, had maintained that Rao had been treated at a hospital of his choice and now that he was deemed fit to be discharged by doctors there, there was no question of extending his medical bond or granting him a permanent medical bond.

“He will receive medical assistance at Taloja prison whenever necessary. There are several other inmates at the prison for the elderly who suffer from health problems but who continue to be detained,” argued the lawyer for the NIA, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh.

The court, which took note of the NIA’s submissions, said it could not ignore the fact that Rao faced “serious charges” under the strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, including the charge of conspiring to overthrow the Union government.

“The allegations against the defendant about his involvement in the commission of a crime have remained unchanged. It is common knowledge that the clinical opinion is against the defendant. It is not suited to the defendant’s purpose . Therefore, it is natural for the defendant to find ways and means to evade this report,” HC said.

“The defendant therefore blamed the doctors and NIA officials. In our view, this cannot be accepted,” he said.

The HC, however, said it found merit in several allegations made by Rao about the lack of medical facilities and poor hygiene at Taloja Prison.

The HC has ordered the Inspector General of Prisons to submit a “candid” report by April 30 on the state of these facilities and the appointment of doctors and medical staff to state prisons, and to the “Taloja prison in particular”.

IG prisons must now ensure that there is no reason left for inmates to raise grievances about inadequate healthcare facilities in state prisons, HC said.

“In our view, if remedial measures are adopted, then the grievance made by the defendant in this case, as well as the grievances in prisons across Maharashtra could

be taken care of,” HC said.

“It is the duty of the Inspector General of Prisons to ensure compliance with the law and prison rules. The IG will be held accountable for non-compliance and breaches in the future,” he said. he declares.

He also ordered the NIA Special Tribunal to expedite the trial in the Elgar Parishad case and conduct the proceedings from day to day.

Rao was granted temporary medical bail by Bombay HC in February last year.

On April 14 this year, HC extended this bail for three months to allow Rao to undergo cataract surgery, and he will have to surrender to Taloja prison authorities at the end of this period.

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