Elgar Parishad case: Vernon Gonsalves tests negative for Covid-19, allowed to speak with family via video-calling
Vernon Gonsalves had approached the court seeking to undergo a Covid-19 test, as he was an aide of veteran Telugu writer, social activist and fellow accused P Varavara Rao (81), who had contracted SARS-CoV-2, which causes the viral disease, while Rao was lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail.Updated: Jul 28, 2020, 19:43 IST
Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay high court (HC) that academic and writer Vernon Gonsalves, who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad/Bhima Koregaon case, has tested coronavirus disease (Covid-19) negative.
Gonsalves had approached the court seeking to undergo a Covid-19 test, as he was an aide of veteran Telugu writer, social activist and fellow accused P Varavara Rao (81), who had contracted SARS-CoV-2, which causes the viral disease, while Rao was lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail.
The Maharashtra government also assured the court that Gonsalves would be allowed to speak with his family members via a video-calling facility, as he has not spoken to them since July 17.
The other fellow accused Dr Anand Teltumbde, too, had made a similar plea as that as Gonsalves.
But the state government said the outcome of Dr. Teltumbde’s test results are not yet available and sought time until Friday.
An HC division bench, comprising Justice RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht, while hearing the application by both Gonsalves and Dr. Teltumbde was informed by senior advocate Mihir Desai that though Gonsalves had tested Covid-19 negative, the Taloja Jail authorities had kept him and his family members in the dark about the outcome of the test.
Desai cited the news was known only through media reports.
While there is still no clarity about Dr. Teltumbde’s test results, he added.
The senior advocate also pleaded with the court to direct the state government to allow both the undertrials, Gonsalves and Dr. Teltumbde, be allowed to speak to their respective family members via the video-calling facility amid the viral outbreak, as they suffer from multiple ailments.
Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare informed the court that Gonsalves’s health condition is being monitored regularly even though he has tested Covid-19 negative.
In the case of Dr. Teltumbde, Thakare sought time until Friday.
The HC will hear the case next after Dr. Teltumbde’s Covid-19 test results are made available.