NIA court sets bail terms

A special NIA court in Mumbai has set 12 bail conditions for Telugu poet Dr P Varavara Rao accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, including a restriction on discussing the case on any media forum.

Rao was recently released on bail by the Supreme Court on medical grounds.

He will not make any statement about this in any media i.e. print media, electronic media, social media etc. He will not commit any other offense of a similar nature or of any other nature, Special Judge Rajesh Katariya watched.

The court further ordered him to mark his presence every fortnight through a WhatsApp video call and to physically go to the police station every three months.

On August 10, the Supreme Court granted Rao bail on medical grounds and imposed a condition on him that he should not leave the Greater Mumbai area without the permission of the Magistrate’s Court. But on August 17, 2022, the SC cleared Rao to go to the Magistrate’s Court within two weeks for undergoing cataract surgery in Hyderabad.

The conditions of the deposit are as follows –

a. The plaintiff/accused must provide a new PR bond of Rs.50,000/- with two solvent sureties. If previous sureties are to be continued, he will provide new documentation in this regard and arrange for the sureties to remain present for re-verification.

b. Residing in the greater Mumbai area and must not leave Mumbai without prior permission from the Court.

vs. Provide the detailed address of his residence and the telephone numbers of his 3 close relatives and the person residing with him.

D. Attend the trial court proceedings unless the personal appearance waiver is permitted.

e. Report to the nearest police station once every 3 months physically and via Whatsapp Video Call fortnightly.

F. Not to make any statement about it in any media i.e. print media, electronic media, social media, etc.

g. He may not commit any other offense of the same nature or of any other nature.

h. Must not engage in any activity for which the current crime is recorded against the applicant.

I. Must not communicate with co-defendants or anyone else involved in similar activities.

J. It will not make domestic or international calls to anyone engaging in similar activities through any mode of communication.

k. He must not falsify prosecution witnesses either personally or through any other person.

I. He must not flee or attempt to flee from justice.

M. There will be no gathering of visitors where the applicant resides in greater Mumbai.

nm The plaintiff must surrender his passport to this Court if he has not done so sooner.

Rao was arrested in this case four years ago on August 28, 2018. He was taken to Taloja Prison in Mumbai in November 2018. In 2020, he was transferred to hospital when his health condition worsened. is aggravated. In February 2021, the High Court granted him 6 months medical bail. The medical bond has been extended from time to time. However, on April 13 this year, the High Court refused to grant him permanent bail and temporarily extended the medical bail for another three months. He was asked to go to jail after the three-month period. The Supreme Court extended the temporary bail period before finally deciding his SLP.

Case Title: VISHRAMBAUG POLICE STATION v SUDHIR PRAHLAD DHAVALE AND ORS

Click here to read/download the order

Daniel C. Williams