Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to get poet-activist Varavara Rao medically examined at Nanavati hospital in the city to check if he suffered from any ailments that warranted extension of his medical bail.

The HC also extended till December 18 the time for Rao to surrender before the Taloja prison authorities.

As per HC's previous order, Rao was to have been medically examined on November 18, but the NIA told the court on Friday it was yet to get his medical check up done.

The NIA counsel Sandesh Patil said the delay was caused because several doctors

were required to check Rao since the 83-year-old was "taking advantage of the court's order" and trying to get a comprehensive health check up done.

"At the time of seeking medical bail earlier this year, he (Rao) had complained of cataract, hernia, and appendix. Now appendix and hernia are over and only cataract remains. But he is taking advantage of the court's order and trying to get all tests done," Patil said.

A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and SV Kotwal, however, questioned the NIA's submission and said the agency must take a practical approach and consider Rao's advanced age.  

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