A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Monday, 22 March, rejected the bail application of Elgar Parishad accused father Stan Swamy, who was seeking release on medical grounds, reported Bar and Bench. Swamy is currently detained in Taloja prison, after his arrest in October 2020.
Other than suffering from Parkinson’s, Swamy has also almost lost hearing in both his ears and has fallen down in jail multiple times. He has also undergone two operations for his hernia and still has pain in his lower abdomen, reported LiveLaw.
“Despite all odds, humanity is bubbling in Taloja prison,” he had written to his friends earlier in November from inside the jail.
WHAT HAD SWAMY SAID?
Swamy had, according to Bar and Bench, moved the court for bail primarily on medical grounds along with merits of the case.
His lawyer Sharif Shaikh had reportedly pointed out that Swami suffers from Parkinson’s and had to be shifted to the prison hospital owing to health issues.
The lawyer had stated that Swamy is not a flight risk.
Further, Sharif Shaikh, according to Bar and Bench, submitted:
- Swamy’s name was allegedly not even a part of the original FIR, but was added in the remand application in 2018 by the police as a suspected accused.
- The evidence allegedly relied upon by the NIA was in correspondence with various people to seek legal aid for Swamy's organisation, Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), which works for undertrial Adivasis and Dalits falsely accused as Maoists.
- Nothing was found even in the two raids subsequently conducted at Swamy’s residence.
- The Pune Police had said on record that, “They had no intention of arresting him, as he was not an accused."
WHAT DID THE NIA ARGUE?
Opposing Swamy’s bail plea, the NIA on their part alleged, through special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty, that Swamy was involved in activities being carried out by Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist).
Further the NIA submitted that Swamy was a “staunch supporter” of organisations like Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People's Union for Civil Liberties involved in activities for CPI (M).
According to Bar and Bench, the NIA also claimed that during the course of several probes incriminating evidence was found on Swamy’s laptop.
The NIA reportedly went on to claim that they have sufficient evidence to prima facie prove that Swamy was involved in the “deep-rooted conspiracy” and in the Naxalite movement.
A special NIA court, in October, too, had denied Swamy's bail application, which was filed on medical grounds.
The NIA had at the time opposed bail, declaring that Swamy had been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and was therefore not allowed bail.
The Bhima Koregaon case refers to violence that erupted in the vicinity of a war memorial in the village of that name on 1 January 2018. This was, the NIA claims, after provocative speeches were made during the Elgar Parishad conclave held a day earlier at Shaniwarwada in Pune.
(With inputs from Livelaw Bar and Bench.)