High Court allows Elgar Parishad case accused Varavara Rao to travel to Hyderabad for cataract surgery

 The Bombay High Court on Monday allowed Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case accused activist Varavara Rao to travel to Hyderabad for a week to undergo cataract surgery.

A division bench headed by Justice A S Gadkari said once Rao is back in Mumbai after surgery on his eye, he can approach the trial court seeking permission to travel back for surgery for the second eye.

Rao was arrested in 2018. He was granted temporary bail on medical grounds in March 2021 by the high court for six months.

The Supreme Court in August 2022 granted him bail on medical grounds.

One of the conditions in the bail order was that Rao could not leave the jurisdiction of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai without express permission of the court.

In June this year, Rao, 82, moved the high court seeking permission to travel to the Telangana capital for the surgery. Rao claimed that his vision was deteriorating due to the ripening of the cataract.

He contended that surgery and post-operative care in Mumbai was expensive, whereas it was free in Telangana for a pension holder.

Rao and other activists were booked in connection with provocative speeches which were allegedly delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, triggering violence at Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district on the next day on January 1, 2018.

The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.

The NIA later took over the probe into the case.

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