Framing of charges will be "prolonged" if Varavara Rao is allowed to go to Hyderabad, NIA court said
Framing of charges will be "prolonged" if poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, is allowed to go to Hyderabad for three months for cataract surgery, a special National Investigation Agency court held while rejecting his plea for such travel.
While Special NIA Judge Rajesh J Katariya had denied him permission last week, the detailed order was made available on Monday.
The Supreme Court had, in August, granted medical bail to the 82-year old activist. His bail conditions, including living in Greater Mumbai limits and not leaving the city without permission, were set by the special NIA court presiding over the case.
Rao, who was arrested on August 28, 2018 from his Hyderabad residence in the case, had sought permission for traveling to Hyderabad for three months for cataract surgery in both eyes and post procedure care.
The court said the major ground in Rao's application was that medical expenses here are on the higher side, while he could get free treatment in Hyderabad being a pensioner of the Telangana government.
It is not the case of the applicant that he would not get good treatment in Mumbai, the court further said.
The judge also noted that, as per an order passed by the Supreme Court, the special court is required to frame charges against the accused and decide the pending discharge application simultaneously within three months from the order dated August 18.
"If the applicant is permitted to go and stay in Hyderabad for three months, the framing of charges would get prolonged. In such a situation it would not be appropriate to allow the application," the judge said.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.
The Pune police, which claimed the conclave was organised by people with Maoist links, registered a case on January 8, 2018 under Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) later took over the probe in the case.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)