Bombay HC Permits Stan Swamy to Be Taken to Holy Family Hospital
The hospital was asked by the High Court to permit the presence of one police constable for Swamy’s protection.
The Bombay High Court on Friday, 27 May, asked the Maharashtra government to transfer 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy to Holy Family hospital for a period of 15 days in view of his worsening health.
Swamy was arrested last year on 8 October in the Bhima Koregaon case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and has languished in Taloja Jail since.
An urgent hearing on Swamy’s plea seeking interim bail was conducted on Friday by a vacation bench of Justices SS Shinde and NR Borkar, after the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court had rejected his petition.
On 19 May, the Bombay High Court had directed the dean of JJ Hospital to form an expert committee in order to examine Swamy’s medical condition and submit a report by 21 May.
I Would Rather Die Here: Stan Swamy
On 21 May, Stan Swamy virtually joined the hearing for his bail plea before the Bombay High Court from the Taloja Central Prison.
Expressing a strong mistrust in the treatment given to him, Swamy refused the court’s suggestion to be shifted to the state-run JJ Hospital and said, “I have been there twice. I am not for being hospitalised in JJ Hospital. It will not improve, it will keep going. I would rather die here very shortly if things go on as it is.”
Representing the tribal rights activist, senior counsel Mihir Desai sought for an adjournment to speak and convince Swami for treatment.
Desai on Friday submitted that Swamy was ready to undergo treatment at the Holy Family Hospital where he himself will bear the cost.
May Undermine the Government Hospitals’ Capabilities: NIA
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing NIA argued that JJ hospital had all the facilities to treat Swamy, negating any need for shifting him to Holy Family hospital. He added that the court allowing him admission to a private hospital may undermine the government hospitals’ capabilities.
Appearing for the state prison authority, Additional Public Prosecutor JP Yagnik also opposed Desai’s submission and stated that Swamy was already receiving proper care and medicines as per recommendations by JJ Hospitals’ committee.
After the submissions of the council, the bench noted, “It is not in dispute that the appellant’s age is 84 years and according to findings recorded by a team of doctors from JJ Hospital he needs treatment. However, due to the present pandemic situation and an influx of patients it may not be possible to give attention to the appellant in JJ Hospital,” The Indian Express reported.
Later the court gave Swamy the choice to get treated at Holy Family hospital for 15 days and also requested the administration of the hospital to provide an attendant keeping in view of Swamy’s age. The High Court directed the prison authorities to shift Swamy to Holy Family hospital, “preferably during the course of the day”, seeing as how his condition had only deteriorated.
Desai had also asked the court to permit Father Frazer Mascerenhas, a friend of Swamy’s and former principal of Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, to stay with him. The Bench allowed Father Masceranhas to visit Swamy at regular intervals as per the hospital’s protocols.
The hospital administration was further asked by the High Court to permit the presence of one police constable in the hospital for Swamy’s protection.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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