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Friday, September 22, 2023

Bombay HC extends activist Varavara Rao’s bail till March 3

Mumbai: The Mumbai High Court on Saturday extended till March 3 “medical bail” granted to poet and activist Varavara Rao, who is charged in the Elgar Parishad Maoist Links case.

The Supreme Court first granted Mr. Rao, 82, bail on health grounds for a period of six months in February 2021. He was also asked not to leave Mumbai.

He then filed a request for bail extension and then filed another statement requesting permanent bail due to illness.

Since September 2021, the court has repeatedly extended the period given to him to surrender.


On Saturday, Mr. Rao’s attorneys brought his new bail extension request before a division of Judges SB Shukre and AM Borkar.

Mr. Rao stated in his application that according to medical reports he suffers from asymptomatic Parkinson’s disease, neurological disorders, and severe abdominal pain suggestive of an umbilical hernia.

He also requested that the bail condition be changed so that he would not be allowed to leave Mumbai and asked that he be allowed to return to his home state of Telangana.

The court said it would hear the application on March 1 and extended the delivery deadline to March 3. Earlier this week, a court led by Judge SS Shinde withdrew (withdrawn) from matters related to the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case.


Chief Justice Dipankar Datta then assigned the cases to the court headed by Justice Shukre.

The case relates to alleged incendiary speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police say sparked violence the next day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial.

The Pune Police, who originally investigated the case, claimed that the conclave was supported by Maoists. The NIA later took over the probe.

Besides Mr. Rao, several other activists have been arrested in the case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.


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