NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection granted to Bhima Koregaon case accused P. Varavara Rao and scheduled his bail plea for final hearing on August 10.
A bench headed by justice U.U. Lalit issued notice and sought response from National Investigation Authority (NIA). The bench, also comprising Justices Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, said considering the nature of controversy of the matter, it would be disposed of on the next occasion. "Since we had not issued notice earlier, issue notice, returnable on August 10," said the bench.
The top court also extended the interim protection earlier granted to Rao on medical grounds. "Interim protection granted earlier on medical grounds extended till further orders", said the bench.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, representing Rao, contended that the latest Bombay High Court order said conditions in jail ought to be improved. "Let's not go into that", the bench replied.
The top court directed the Additional Solicitor General to place all material on record by August 2 and to file the rejoinder applications by August 8.
Rao had moved the top court challenging the Bombay High Court's order of April 13, which declined his request to stay at his home in Telangana. However, the high court extended the period of temporary bail for three months against the backdrop of medical reasons. Only July 12, the top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on July 19.
In the plea, Rao submitted before the top court that any further incarceration would ring the death knell for him against the backdrop of his advancing age and deteriorating health, which is a fatal combination.