New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) The NHRC on Friday decided that the medical report of jailed poet and activist Varavara Rao, sent by the Maharashtra government in response to its notices, will be examined by domain experts on its panel.
Rao, a Telugu poet, is lodged in Taloja jail in Maharashtra for about two years, the NHRC said in a statement.
'The National Human Rights Commission today decided to get examined the medical report of Vara Vara Rao, sent by the government of Maharashtra in response to its notices, by the medical expert on its panel. The report is to be given within two weeks for consideration of the commission,' the statement said.
The commission said it has found the submission as reasonable and plausible, and accepted it considering the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the state of Maharashtra on a large scale.
'It held the report as comprehensive which included the medical examination reports of Rao by the team of doctors and other medical reports,' the rights panel said.
Earlier, taking cognisance of the matter, the commission opined that the deteriorating health condition of Rao is a 'serious issue of violation of human rights', the statement said.
The commission had directed to issue notice to the chief secretary, Government of Maharashtra, seeking detailed report on it.
The commission had also directed to immediately constitute a medical board to analyse the health condition of Rao.
The directions of the commission were accordingly conveyed to the authorities concerned, it said.
In the meantime, the commission received several communications regarding his deteriorating health condition.
It was communicated to the commission that Rao had been tested positive for COVID-19 and that he had been transferred to St. George's Hospital, which is a state government-run COVID facility, the rights panel said.
Considering potential danger to his life, he being a COVID positive patient with co-morbidities, the commission had directed the Government of Maharashtra to provide him the best possible treatment at a private hospital without any further delay.
The commission had later directed the state government to shift him to the best possible COVID hospital, the same day.
In response to the directions given by the commission, a report dated July 22, was received from the chief secretary.
The report confirmed that he was COVID positive with comorbidities.
It is further mentioned in the chief secretary's report that in view of the directions given by the commission, Rao was shifted from St. George's hospital to Nanawati Super Specialty Hospital, Mumbai on July 19.
The state government contended that there was 'no intentional delay' in shifting him to the super specialty hospital keeping in view the requirement of arrangements, including security, the statement said.
The case being a complex one, required proper coordination of multiple agencies, which includes, assessment of prisoner's health condition by a team of experts, required procedural compliance, availability of beds in super-specialty hospital, which is treating COVID cases, proper coordination with the private authorities and adequate security measures for shifting the prisoner, it said.
It is also mentioned that a constant vigil was kept on the prisoner's health condition by the doctors, the rights panel said. PTI KND SNE SNE