Highlights

  • Supreme Court granted regular bail to Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao on medical grounds
  • Rao is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • 83-year-old Rao was on interim bail

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Bhima Koregaon case: SC grants bail to activist-poet Varavara Rao, asked him not to 'misuse' liberty

In its observation, the top court noted that Rao, who was taken into custody in the case in August 2018, has actually spent two-and-a-half years in custody leaving aside the limited interim bail granted to him in February 2021.

The Supreme Court Wednesday granted regular bail to Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, on medical grounds.

A bench led by Justice UU Lalit, while granting bail, said asked Rao not to misuse the liberty granted in any manner.

The 83-year-old, currently on interim bail, had sought regular bail on health grounds. He had challenged the Bombay High Court order rejecting his petition for permanent medical bail and he was to surrender on July 12.

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On July 12, the apex court extended Rao’s interim protection till further orders.

In its observation, the top noted that Rao, who was taken into custody in the case in August 2018, has actually spent two-and-a-half years in custody leaving aside the limited interim bail granted to him in February 2021.

The case in which Rao was arrested relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made 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.

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The Pune police had also claimed that the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links. An FIR was lodged by the Pune Police on January 8, 2018, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The NIA later took over the probe into the matter.

Rao was arrested on August 28, 2018, from his Hyderabad residence and is an under-trial in the case.

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