Bombay HC allows Varavara Rao to temporarily get out on cash bail
The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday permitted 82-year-old Telugu poet P Varavara Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, to furnish cash surety, till the process of submitting solvent sureties was completed by April 5, to be released on bail. Rao, who is still in Nanavati Hospital, approached the court seeking modification of the February 22 order wherein he was granted bail on medical grounds for six months on furnishing a personal bond of ₹50,000 and two solvent sureties. Rao sought modification to be allowed to deposit temporary cash surety for a month till the solvent sureties were arranged. The court accepted the same but said the modification to the bail order was limited to the extent of April 5 only.
A division bench of justice SS Shinde and justice Manish Pitale, while hearing the criminal application filed by Rao seeking modification to the February 22 bail order, was informed that as submission of the solvent sureties would take time, Rao was seeking urgent release from Nanavati Hospital on furnishing temporary cash surety. The petition stated that furnishing solvent sureties was taking time due to the Covid-19 situation and would be provided within April 5, and hence the court should grant the limited prayer.
On February 22, the HC had granted Rao bail for six months with strict conditions on health grounds. The court asked him to stay within the National Investigation Agency (NIA) special courts’ jurisdiction in Mumbai during that period.
After hearing the submissions, the bench observed, “We are of the opinion that in the interest of justice, due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation, the limited prayer can be granted.”
The court then directed Rao to be released on bail on furnishing cash surety of ₹50,000 and granted extension of time till April 5 for furnishing two solvent sureties. While disposing the petition, the court noted that all other conditions mentioned in the February 22 order would operate without any modification and the extension of time to furnish two solvent sureties was being granted for the limited period in view of Covid-19 pandemic situation.