Mumbai, July 28: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital at Vile Parle to submit within three days a report on the medical status and line of treatment given to poet-activist Varavara Rao, 81, who is admitted there.
After recording the Additional Solicitor General’s submission, the court permitted family members to visit Mr. Rao at the hospital and said this was subject to hospital protocol and in accordance with government norms with respect to a COVID-19 patient, The Hindu reported.
A Division Bench of Justices R.D. Dhanuka and V.G. Bisht was hearing two petitions. The first petition was filed against the Taloja Jail prison authorities, where Mr. Rao was lodged before being shifted to the hospital. The plea seeks directions to them to submit a detailed report, along with medical papers of the treatment and course of action followed by them, after the hurried discharge of Mr. Rao from J. J. Hospital on June 2, 2020. The second petition is a criminal appeal against the rejection of Mr. Rao’s interim medical bail plea by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court.
Advocate Sudeep Pasbola appearing for Mr. Rao told the court that the family is unable to get any information about his health from either the hospital or the jail. He said, “Mr. Rao is serious [seriously unwell] and when the family contacts the jail, they are told — call the hospital, and when the hospital is contacted, they are told — call the jail.”
Mr. Pasbola questioned, “What is the secrecy about his health? His family is in Hyderabad, so at least a call can be arranged [for them] to talk to him at the hospital.”
On this, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the NIA, said. “We have no problem if the family wants to talk or meet him. If the hospital permits, we have no problem. Nanavati Hospital is the best hospital and there should not be any grievance about his health or treatment.”
To which Mr. Pasbola said, “There cannot be any grievance because there is no information about his health.” Mr. Singh replied, “As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, secrecy has to be maintained.”
The court asked if there was any problem should information be shared. The State’s counsel said there was no objection to sharing information with the family and that the hospital could be directed to submit a report.
The matter has been adjourned to August 7.