The Bombay High Court on Tuesday mused as to why Varavara Rao, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was only granted 6 months of bail despite its strong observations regarding medical conditions at Taloja prison [P Varavara Rao v. State of Maharashtra & Anr]..A Bench of Justices SB Shukre and GA Sanap was hearing the application filed by Rao seeking extension of the medical bail granted to him by the High Court in February 2021..When the National Investigation Agency (NIA) tried to point out that the Court was balancing the rights of prisoners with the need for custody, the Bench pondered if there was any change in the prison conditions after six months.“Is there anything to provide for review after 6 months? Or has there been a challenge to the order? Because he is 82 years old, he may be drug resistant. In 6 months has the Taloja Prison improved? He will be exposed to more diseases...it is better he is kept in a sanitized place rather than prison,” Justice Shukre said..In the February 2021 order, the Court had observed that the hospital attached to the Taloja Prison was ill-equipped and inadequate to take care of Rao's health needs. Justice Shukre stated that a prima facie observation showed no scope for the Court to review a judgment, as the unchallenged order had attained finality.“With the kind of observations in the order - prima facie we don’t see any scope of review. And this order has attained finality…” the Bench said..When NIA insisted that it would make out a case for Rao to surrender, the Bench adjourned the matter to March 8.It clarified that the interim protection from coercive action against Rao would be extended till the next date of hearing..Rao had stated in his petition that by staying in Hyderabad, he may end up saving money, considering the fact that the cost of living and medical expenses are lower in Telangana.Senior Advocate Anand Grover, appearing with Advocate R Satyanarayanan for Rao, pointed out that his client lived off the pension he received from the State government. Rao was entitled to free medical treatment by the State, Grover added.He emphasized that the role of the prosecution agencies was to ensure the accused’s presence for trial and not to punish him prior to the sentence.“The attitude of the prosecution has to be that we will try our best to get the prisoner for trial. It should not be that whatever happens to him in prison is fine...Their endeavour cannot be to keep someone in prison at the cost of his health,” Grover underscored..Grover cited medical reasons such as cataract surgery, Parkinson's and umbilical hernia that require constant medical intervention. Rao had recently undergone surgery of the hernia, after which he required a full-time care taker to look after him, it was mentioned.Rao had filed for extension of medical bail in February 2021 and modification of the conditions of bail. However, the NIA took strong objection to the prayer for modification in an application that was later disposed of.Thereafter, when the High Court instructed Rao to file a petition with fresh grounds, Rao filed the present writ.The earlier Bench hearing the petition had enquired with the NIA on whether the octogenarian poet ought to be sent to prison amidst the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.