Mumbai: Maharashtra government has agreed to shift poet-activist-journalist Varavara Rao (VV) from Taloja central jail to Nanavati hospital for treatment as well as observation. The government agreed after a nudge by a Bombay High Court bench comprising Justices S.S. Shinde and Madhav Jamdar who conducted physical proceedings though the court was on vacation saying that this is an urgent case.
Wife pleads for shifting out of the jail
The bench was hearing the plea by Varavara Rao’s wife Pendyala Hemalatha to shift her husband out of the inhuman environment in the jail. She explained that her husband has multiple health problems and the facilities available in the jail are not sufficient to treat him. Noted senior advocate Indira Jaisingh had appeared for Varavara Rao. During the online hearing on Tuesday, the judges were not able to hear Indira Jaisingh. So, they decided to have a physical hearing on Wednesday.
Special case : Maha home minister
Indira Jaisingh has told the judges that the health condition of her client is precarious and if anything should happen to him it would amount to custodial death. Deepak Thakery, the chief public prosecutor, had spoken to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshpande who agreed to shift Varavara Rao from Taloja central jail to Nanavati Hospital for 15 days. The minister said it was a special case and it should not become a precedent.
J.J. Hospital is not safe
While the judges were dictating the order, the Assistant Solicitor General Anil Singh who was appearing on behalf of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) commented that the government hospitals are not that bad and the poet can be shifted to J.J. Hospital. Indira Jaisingh intervened and said it was in that hospital the 81-year-old poet-journalist-activist was found in a pool of urine and the hospital was not being maintained properly. The judges said the family members should be allowed to visit the prisoner. They said the medical reports should be submitted to the court as and when they are made available.
‘How can he flee?’
Indira Jaising had read out the report submitted by Nanavati hospital on Tuesday (Nov. 17) after examining the patient for 15 minutes. The report mentioned the age of the patient as 45 years. She made a mention of earlier report submitted by Nanavati Hospital which said the prisoner had developed dementia. He had heart attack, liver failure, kidney failure and post-Covid complications. He has been bed-ridden and ‘how can anyone expect that he would flee?’she asked.