Mumbai NIA court rejects Varavara Rao’s request to travel for eye surgery

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Mumbai: A special NIA court in Mumbai dismissed the Telugu poet and Elgar Parishad accused Varavara Rao’s plea to go to Hyderabad for three months to undergo cataract surgery.

The court denied the request saying it had to file charges against the defendant within the next three months.

NIA Special Judge Rajesh Katariya said the court “is required to bring charges against the defendant and concurrently decide on the pending release request within three months of the August 18, 2022 order. If Rao is allowed to go and stay in Hyderabad for three months, the filing of the charges would be prolonged, in such a situation, allowing the application would not be appropriate.

Rao had also approached the Supreme Court to vary the bail order and sought permission to travel to Hyderabad for cataract surgery. According to the bail conditions, Rao must remain in Mumbai until the end of Elgar Parishad’s trial, which has not yet started.

On August 10, the Supreme Court granted Rao bail on medical grounds. The following week, he granted Rao permission to apply to the NIA Special Court to undergo his cataract surgery in Hyderabad.

Lawyer Niraj Yadav, who appeared on Rao’s behalf, said the Supreme Court granted Rao freedom to file an amendment petition in the trial court.

Yadav argued that Rao has been staying in Mumbai since March 2021. He further argued that living expenses in Mumbai are very high. Rao had spent 68,000 rupees per month on living expenses in 2021, which increased from 70,000 to 80,000 rupees per month.

Yadav further said that Rao (82) incurred around Rs 10 lakh in expenses during his stay in Mumbai. He said Rao only receives Rs 50,000 per month as a pension from the Telangana government. Rao has to borrow money from others, due to the overhead incurred due to his stay in Mumbai.

Rao’s plea said he was unable to bear the medical costs of cataract surgery in Mumbai and it would be done for him free of charge in Telangana. Moreover, his children would be in a better condition to take care of him after the operation on both eyes, according to Rao’s plea.

Special Prosecutor Prakash Shetty, appearing for the NIA, opposed the plea, saying that the treatment Rao sought was available in Mumbai and that through the present application Rao was only seeking to overrule the conditions imposed. by the Supreme Court while granting him medical treatment. bail. Shetty argued that Rao could be reimbursed for the processing fees paid here.

The NIA claimed that speakers at the Elgar Parishad event organized by CPI (Maoist) front organizations in Pune on December 31, 2017, incited violence in Bhima Korega the following day during which one person died and several others were injured.

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