While hearing a plea by Bhima Koregaon accused Varavara Rao seeking extension of medical bail granted to him by the High Court in February 2021, the Bombay High Court enquired with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on whether the octogenarian poet ought to be sent to prison amidst the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. .The Bench of Justices SS Shinde and NR Borkar opined that the third wave was likely to continue for another 50-60 days, and that the figures that have come up during this wave are higher than the figures during the first two waves. In this scenario, the Bench asked special counsel for NIA, Advocate Sandesh Patil, whether it would be fit to send Rao back to prison..Justice Shinde, who is also on the administrative committee of the High Court, remarked that the COVID-19 infection had also infected some judges of the High Court, the names of whom he refused to disclose."This infection is spreading rapid and fast. We are seriously concerned about all stakeholders in the system, including advocates. We are all like one family. Here also, some of our colleagues have been tested...I do not want to disclose any names," Justice Shinde said, reminding all present for the hearing including Senior Advocate Anand Grover appearing for Rao to take extra care. .Rao had filed his response to the report submitted by Nanavati Hospital which indicated that his vital parameters seemed to be normal and that the remaining clinical examination showed no significant abnormalities.The report was submitted after the High Court on November 29, 2021 had directed NIA to take Rao to a private hospital for medical examination at the expense of the agency in order to determine whether his bail can be extended or not..Patil informed the Court that NIA was seeking for some time to take instructions on the plea and brief the Additional Solicitor General who was not in the town for a few days as he had a matter before the Nagpur Bench. Granting time to NIA, the Bench added that the hearing on the matter could be deferred by more than a week, considering the ongoing pandemic situation.It clarified that considering the nature of the allegations against Rao, it was pertinent that the matter is heard at length before a decision is made..The Court adjourned the hearing to February 4 and extended the time granted to Rao to surrender till February 5..The Bench headed by Justice Shinde heard the plea today after Justice PB Varale recused himself from hearing pleas pertaining to Bhima Koregaon matters.