Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to 81-year-old poet-activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds. Granting six-month bail to Rao, the court said that the poet-activist will either have to surrender or apply for an extension.

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale, however, said that Rao will have to stay in Mumbai and be available for investigation, adding that he will have to submit his passport before the NIA court and is forbidden to establish any contact with his co-accused in the case.

"We are of the opinion that this is a genuine and fit case to grant relief or else we will be abdicating our constitutional duties as protector of human rights and right to health covered under right to life of article 21 of the constitution," Justice Shinde said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

Rao, through his lawyer Indira Jaising, had moved the Bombay High Court, urging it to release him from the Taloja prison and permit him to visit his family in Hyderabad over his poor health condition.

Notably, the HC on February 1 had closed all arguments in the case and reserved its verdict on Rao's medical bail plea and his wife Hemlatha's writ petition that alleged a breach of his fundamental rights due to inadequate medical care and his continued incarceration.

Rao, along with nine others, is the main accused in the Bhima Koregaon case that is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

He is accused of making provocative speeches 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 located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

The police have also alleged that the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma