The Bombay High Court on Monday extended till December 6 the time granted to poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case currently out on medical bail, to surrender before the Taloja prison authorities in Navi Mumbai.
A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and SV Kotwal extended Rao's time to surrender from December 2 to December 6 after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to get Rao medically examined at the private Nanavati hospital in compliance with the previous order of the high court.
Rao, 83, had been granted interim bail for six months on medical grounds by the HC on February 22 this year. He was scheduled to surrender and return to judicial custody on September 5.
However, Rao applied through his lawyers R Sathyanarayanan and senior counsel Anand Grover, seeking an extension of the medical bail. He also sought permission to stay in his hometown Hyderabad while out on the bail.
On November 18, Grover had told the HC bench that while out on bail, Rao's health had deteriorated and he had been admitted to the Nanavati hospital in the city, for treatment from November 6 to November 16 this year.
Grover had urged the HC to extend Rao's medical bail by four months.
During the previous hearings, the NIA had opposed Rao's plea for extension of medical bail and shifting to Hyderabad saying that the 83-year-old's medical reports did not indicate that he was suffering from any serious medical ailment.
On November 18, NIA counsel Sandesh Patil had opposed Rao's plea for extension of the medical bail, prompting the HC to direct the investigating agency to get Rao medically examined at Nanavati hospital and submit his latest reports by November 29.
On Monday, however, the NIA sought further time to follow the instructions of the HC.
"In spite of the order dated 18 November 2021, the respondents (NIA) have not got the Applicant (Rao) examined at the Nanavati Hospital. The learned counsel for the respondent- NIA apologises and states that the applicant will be examined immediately and the report as specified in the order dated 18 November 2021 will be submitted to the Court," the HC stated in the order while extending Rao's time to surrender till December 6.
The HC adjourned the hearing on Rao's plea to December 3.