The Bombay High Court on Monday directed Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital to arrange a video call between poet Varavara Rao, who is admitted there, and his family.

A Division Bench of Justices A.A. Sayed and Abhay Ahuja was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Sathyanarayanan against Taloja prison authorities seeking directions for them to submit a detailed report and medical papers of the treatment and course of action followed by them post the hurried discharge of Mr. Rao from JJ Hospital on June 2.

Advocate Sudeep Pasbola, appearing for Mr. Rao, said the family last spoke to the poet on July 31 and a medical report was awaited from the hospital.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) counsel Anil Singh said Mr. Rao was shifted to Nanavati Hospital at the family’s request so there should not be any complaints from the family.

Since Mr. Rao’s medical reports show he is still COVID-19 positive, the court asked if he was kept in the regular ward or ICU. Mr. Pasbola said they did not know as there had been no response from hospital authorities. The court then perused the July 28 order, permitting the family to talk to Mr. Rao, and directed that a video call be arranged.

Meanwhile, the same Bench was hearing criminal appeal filed by advocate and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, another accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

Ms. Bharadwaj has diabetes, ischemic disease, high blood pressure, hypertension and a history of pulmonary tuberculosis. She also has extremely painful swelling in her joints and also a frozen shoulder that restricts her movement.

Advocate Ragini Ahuja told the court that Ms. Bharadwaj has severe co-morbidities and is in an overcrowded prison. The court then directed the State government to file a recent medical report of Ms. Bharadwaj and an additional affidavit by jail superintendent explaining its plans to handle cases of prisoners with co-morbidities.

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