The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to provide medical reports of activists Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to their families. A bench led by Justice RD Dhanuka passed the order after their lawyer Mihir Desai said he was yet to receive a copy of his clients' coronavirus test reports.
The authorities at Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai, where the two are lodged, had tested Gonsalves and Teltumbde for coronavirus. The two activists had earlier moved the court seeking that they be tested for the infection as they had been in close contact with poet Varavara Rao, another accused in the case who tested positive for coronavirus on July 16.
Earlier this month, the state told HC that Gonsalves had tested negative while Teltumbde's report had shown the presence of some antibodies, indicating that he might have been infected with coronavirus at some point. During a subsequent hearing, the court was informed by Advocate Vijay Hiremath, the counsel for coaccused Mahesh Raut that COVID test reports of Teltumbde and Raut bore identical findings on vital parameters, height, weight, and other things.
The state had then said it would recheck the reports. On Tuesday, Desai told the court that the state was yet to provide him with medical reports. "It is my health report and I deserve to know," he said.
The bench agreed and asked the state's counsel Deepak Thakare to provide the reports for Gonsalves and Teltumbde to their lawyer and family members. "You should know and you will be given the reports," the bench told advocate Desai.
The state also submitted a report on the health of Sudha Bharadwaj, a co-accused. Bharadwaj has sought bail on health grounds citing comorbidities (existing chronic ailments), saying she was more vulnerable to the infection in prison.
The government told the court that Bharadwaj's vital parameters were stable, and she would be provided with requisite medical care by Byculla women's prison authorities whenever necessary.