Ailing civil rights activist Varavara Rao has finally been given bail.
A Bombay High Court bench, comprising Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale, today granted Rao temporary bail for six months.
The bench instructed Rao, who has been awaiting trial for his alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case since 2018, to remain in Bombay for the six-month relief period so that he would be available for further investigations.
During this time, Rao will have to report on a fortnightly basis to the nearest police station through a WhatsApp call.
The octogenarian has also been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000, and to attend the NIA Court for trial. Reports say that he will, however, be allowed to excuse himself from making personal appearances before the NIA court, on medical grounds.
Once the six-month bail period expires, the activist will either have to surrender himself to the police, or file a fresh petition for a bail extension.
The verdict is a result of his wife Hemlata's writ petition - she had alleged that Rao's continued incarceration despite his ill health was violative of his fundamental right to life as he was being unable to access the specialised healthcare facilities he needed. The Bombay High Court had earlier declined to grant bail
to the jailed academician on November 12.
The decision finally gave his wife and his supporters a cause to celebrate, and they expressed their happiness on the occasion.
Rao is currently undergoing treatment at the Nanavati Hospital.