On Thursday (12th November 2020), The Bombay High Court ordered a medical examination of poet Dr. Varavara Rao through video by the doctors of Nanavati hospital to gauge his present medical health.
According to his wife, the poet’s condition has been deteriorating. If doctors are of the opinion that a physical examination will be required, the same will be facilitated by the Talojia jail authorities. The medical examination will be done by the same doctors who had prepared his medical report in July this year. The medical report is directed to be placed before the court and also to the petitioner, his wife.
Dr. Rao is presently locked-up for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case. Further hearing of this case will be on 17th November 2020 according to a bench of Justices A K Menon and Justice S P Tavade. The petitioner represented by senior advocate Indira Jaising said that she apprehends that Dr. Rao would lose his life if he continues in jail. She asked, “He suffers from a neurological condition, he is bedridden, his catheter is not changed for more than 40 days. Do you think a man bedridden can flee?” A question was asked by Jaising as to why on August 28, Dr.Rao was abruptly discharged from Nanavati hospital without informing the Bombay High Court or his family, despite the fact that his medical report had suggested that he would require close monitoring. Dr. Rao be shifted to Nanavati hospital for proper medical care and examination as immediate relief and added that the degrading and inhuman condition of Dr. Rao’s detention violated his Righ to Life, dignity, and health. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared for NIA and submitted that Dr. Rao had been admitted to a super specialty hospital. “Whenever the family wanted to see them, we let them meet them.” The Court said that a team from Nanavati hospital could assess Rao to evaluate his medical condition.
The Bench said, “A medical assessment cannot be opposed by the State. Chief PP Deepak Thakare, what we propose is to get a team of doctors from Nanavati Hospital to assess his situation.”
Deepak Thakare, the Chief Public Prosecutor submitted the latest medical report of Dr. Rao which was not shared with the petitioners. Wife of Dr. Varavara Rao, an alleged violation of the Right to Life, Dignity, and Health of her husband on account of the ‘degrading’ and ‘inhumane’ treatment being meted out to Dr. Rao in Tajolia jail. Dr. Rao was completely bedridden in diapers and a urinary bag with two co-accused as his 24-hour attendants who were not medically trained persons in Talojia jail as per the plea, this also caused him to suffer from further urinary infection and added to his medical woes. On medical grounds, the Bombay High Court was asked to expedite the hearing of the bail application by the Apex Court. Earlier, on 16th July, Dr. Rao had tested positive for COVID-19 and was shifted to St George Hospital and then finally to Nanavati Hospital on July 30. In the medical report given by Nanavati hospital, it was noted that “considering the comorbid factors of age, persistent hyponatremia in the COVID 19 case, the patient will require close monitoring.” He has been in the jail hospital since August 28, when he was discharged without informing the Bombay High Court or his family.