[Bhima Koregoan Violence] "Is Varavara Rao Eligible For Free Surgery In Hyderabad?" Bombay High Court Questions

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The bench posted the matter for further hearing on June 5, 2023.

A single judge bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice Amit Borkar today while hearing a plea filed by Bhima Koregoan accused P Varavara Rao questioned if it was a fact that Rao would be getting free surgery if he is allowed to travel to Hyderabad.

“He files an application stating he will get free surgery at Hyderabad. Whether this is factually correct or not? If it is factually not correct, then the complexion of the matter changes. You take instructions because that is the crux of this matter,” Justice Borkar said.

The high court was hearing a plea filed by the Bhima Koregaon accused seeking permission to visit Hyderabad for his surgery. 

During the hearing, Advocate Sandesh Patil appearing of the National Investigating Agency submitted that the Supreme Court had given a direction that he should not leave Mumbai without the express permission of the trial court.

He submitted that Rao wanted to visit Hyderabad for 3 months and that cataract surgery takes only an hour which can be done in Mumbai. Further, while opposing the plea he submitted that Rao was a dangerous criminal and there were serious charges against him.

Subsequently, the bench questioned if Rao will be getting free surgery in Hyderabad to which Patil responded and said that he would have to check and take instructions.

Advocate R Satyanarayanan appearing for Rao submitted that under Andhra Pradesh rules Rao was eligible for surgery up to 2 Lakhs. He insisted that the court grant him the liberty to move his plea before the vacation bench. He also submitted that Rao had other medical conditions too.

While posting the matter on June 5, the court disagreed with Satyanarayanan and said that it would be a different situation if Rao were in jail.

“From your pleadings, it seems like it is not required urgently. you are out on bail. It would have been different if you were in jail,” Justice Borkar said.

The bench had earlier in January 2023 issued notice to the agency in the plea filed by Rao. 

Rao had filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking modification of the medical bail granted to him. However, the Supreme Court asked Rao to approach the trial court. 

The special court had rejected Rao's application to travel to Hyderabad for 3 months for cataract surgery. The Special Court had rejected Rao's plea on the grounds that he can get his surgery done in Mumbai and that arguments were going on in the discharge plea.

Rao in his application before the high court submitted that if Rao does not undergo cataract surgery as advised by his doctors, it may lead to serious health repercussions including impairment of vision which cannot be ruled out given the fact that the Applicant is already 82 years of age.

It has been contended that Rao can get good and free treatment at Hyderabad as he is a pensioner in the State of Telangana and can also avail benefits of a Senior citizen.

The plea further stated, "The Applicant's experience in Mumbai with Government Hospitals has been quite abysmal as is reflected in the o. 19/152 judgment of the Bombay High Court granted him bail for 6 months with the liberty to apply for an extension. So far as private hospitals, the expenses are prohibitive for the Applicant," 

The plea also stated that Rao has not violated any of the conditions imposed on him which were imposed while granting him medical bail.

Case Title: Dr. P Varavara Rao vs National Investigating Agency