A division bench of the Bombay High Court has directed the government of Maharashtra and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to arrange for a video medical consultation by doctors of Nanavati Hospital for 81-year-old Telugu poet P Varavara Rao, in prison since 2018 in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.
The court directed that the consultation will have to take place on Thursday or on early Friday morning, and that the outline will have to be submitted to the court on November 16.
The court also directed doctors from Nanavati hospital and the state that whether they were unable to ascertain Rao’s medical condition then they will have to visit Taloja prison or arrange for some doctor to check up on the activist.
The bench, comprising justices AK Menon and SP Tavade, was once also hearing a writ petition filed by P Hemlatha, Rao’s wife.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Rao, informed the court that there was once an urgency to hear the petition because a co-inmate of Rao from Taloja jail had talked to Hemlata on Wednesday and informed her that Rao’s health was once deteriorating fast.
The NIA, in its affidavit, confirmed that the health of Rao was once not good but the doctors at Taloja prison were steadily checking his condition and providing all essential remedy. In light of these facts, Jaising sought Rao to be transferred back to Nanavati Hospital from Taloja jail.
“There’s a legal apprehension that Rao will lose his life whether he continues to be kept in Taloja prison. The court was once not informed approximately Rao being shifted out of Nanavati Hospital to Taloja prison. No medical outline has been submitted after July 30,” argued Jaising.
“Condition of detention cannot be merciless, inhuman and degrading. But it is in relation to Rao. It is violating his rights under article 21 and 32 of the charter. Whether he dies in prison it’ll be a case of custodial death,” said Jaisingh.
The lawyer then sought an interim order to receive Rao back in Nanavati Hospital and also to constitute an independent board of doctors to evaluate the condition of Rao and submit its outline in the court.
To a question by the bench on “why not have a board before shifting to Nanavati Hospital”, Jaising responded “Taloja jail does not have the wherewithal”.
Jaising went on to criticise the affidavit filed by NIA and said, “It does not mention his current health condition but only talks approximately his crime and UAPA. The NIA has not done its homework while preparing the affidavit. It kind of feels the affidavit is intended to prejudice the court.”
Extra solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for the NIA, and chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare then again refuted the allegations of Jaising and said that the doctors at Taloja prison were steadily keeping a check on Rao’s condition.
Thakare also submitted a medical outline of November 12 wherein it was once stated that every one checks had been conducted in consultation with Nanavati hospital doctors.
Singh further added that the agency was once concerned approximately the health of Rao and hence had him shifted him to Nanavati hospital based on the request of the circle of relatives of Rao. He added that the circle of relatives had been provided video calling access to Rao as and when they had requested it, hence the allegations by Jaising were not legal.
Rao was once first taken to JJ Hospital on May 28 after he fell unconscious, but was once discharged on June 1. The circle of relatives had alleged that Rao was once discharged in a hurried manner to obstruct his bail plea. “He was once not normal at the time of discharge. While Sodium normal range was once 134-145, he attained only 133 and potassium normal range was once 3.5 to 5.0, he attained only 3.55, according to the hospital record. But, later on June 2 it was once proved that every one this – admission in hospital, getting a normal outline, getting him discharged – was once a part of conspiracy by the police. June 2 was once the date of hearing on his bail application on health grounds in the NIA Special Sessions Court and police argued against his bail showing this hospital “normal” outline. The pass judgement on accepted that and refused bail on June 26,” the circle of relatives had then issued a remark
Rao continued to show signs of delirium and after voices were raised from quite a lot of quarters, Rao was once admitted to JJ Hospital again on July 13. Later he was once shifted to St George’s Hospital after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also intervened and issued notices to the Maharashtra government asking it to make sure Rao is taken care of and adequate medical facilities are arranged. It had also asked for a outline on Rao’s health.
The commission had observed that the correct to life and medical care is likely one of the basic human rights and the state is duty bound to give you the same to a prisoner as mannered. Maharashtra state has been directed to constitute a medical board to inspect Rao’s health, supply him the most productive imaginable remedy and bear the cost for a similar. Rao was once then moved to Nanavati hospital for remedy. He was once shifted back to Taloja prison on August 28.