No NIA action till HC hears Varavara Rao’s medical bail extension plea

Mumbai, Sep 03 (PTI):
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday told the Bombay High Court in an oral statement that it will not take any coercive action against poet-activist Varavara Rao till September 6 when his plea for medical bail extension will be heard.
Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case and currently on interim medical bail granted by HC in February this year, is supposed to surrender before the Taloja prison authorities on September 5.
Rao’s counsel, senior advocate Anand Grover, sought an extension of bail before a bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar on Friday. However, due to paucity of time, the matter could not be heard. HC said it will hear Rao’s plea on September 6. Grover then urged HC to ensure no coercive action was taken against Rao until then.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared for NIA, in an oral statement said,”We will not take any coercive action until the next hearing.”
On February 22 this year, a bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale had granted Rao (82) interim medical bail on “humanitarian grounds.” At the time, Rao, suffering from multiple ailments, was undergoing treatment at Nanavati hospital in Mumbai after being shifted out of Taloja jail following the court’s intervention.
At the time, the HC had said if it did not grant Rao medical bail, it would be abdicating its duty to protect the principles of human rights, and a citizen’s fundamental rights to life and health.
The bench had imposed stringent bail conditions, including a direction to Rao to stay within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai NIA court for the period he was out on bail, as well as forbidding him from establishing any contact with his co-accused in the case.

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