Elgar case: HC extends activist Rao's surrender date
One-liner: The Bombay High Court on Friday extended till Feb 5 the date of surrender for poet Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, now on bail, before Taloja prison authorities in Maharashtra.
NIA plea dismissed: A bench dismissed the National Investigating Agency's (NIA) request for extending such date of surrender only by a week.
- The bench said in view of the rising cases of coronavirus across the state, it would not be wise to send the 83-year-old poet-activist back to prison
Crux of the matter: Rao, who was lodged in the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai as an undertrial, was granted temporary medical bail for six months in Feb 2021 by another bench of the HC.
- His date of surrender was scheduled for Sept 5, 2021, but Rao filed a new application through his advocate seeking an extension of medical bail
Need to know: The date of Rao's surrender has been extended since then by the HC on several accounts, including further time sought by the NIA. The NIA, however, has been opposing the extension of Rao's medical bail.
- On Friday, NIA's counsel told the HC that the Additional Solicitor General had not been briefed in the matter and sought a week's time to complete the process
On the other side: The bench, however, said there was no point posting the matter for hearing next week and extending Rao's date of surrender till then, considering the coronavirus pandemic.
Bottom line: On Friday, the bench said it will consider all contentions raised, including those in the new applications filed by Rao, on Feb 4, the next date of hearing. It, accordingly, extended the date of surrender for Rao till Feb 5.