Mumbai, Mar 22 (ILNS) A special court today rejected the bail plea filed by Tribal Rights activist Father Stan Swamy arrested by the National Investigation Agency in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
Additional Sessions Judge DE Kothlikar dismissed the bail plea, which had been pending since November, 2020. The Jesuit priest and activist had filed the bail plea on merits and health grounds, as he is a Parkinson’s patient.
Swamy was arrested from Ranchi on October 8, 2020 and charged with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He has since been lodged at Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai. Through his lawyer Sharif Sheikh, Swamy filed a bail plea on medical grounds and the nature of his work. Shaikh had argued that NIA had failed to establish Swamy’s connection to the Elgar Parishad-Maoists links case.
NIA had opposed Swamy’s bail plea, saying that the probe had revealed that Stan Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations such as Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People’s Union for Civil Liberties, which were working as frontal organisations of CPI (Maoist).
Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty, appearing for NIA, opposed the bail application, arguing that Swamy was involved in the activities being carried out by the CPI (Maoist).
The NIA said the bail application was not maintainable and there was sufficient material to establish a prima facie case against the priest. The national agency denied that proper procedures were not followed while conducting searches at his house.
Pune Police conducted raids on several activists in April, 2018. On June 6, 2018, police arrested five activists and lawyers, including Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut from Nagpur, Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, and Rona Wilson from Delhi for alleged links to CPI (Maoist) and also making plot to assassinate PM Narendra Modi.
Nothing was found after two raids were subsequently conducted at Swamy’s residence. In fact, Pune Police had also stated on record in a plea filed by Swamy in bombay High Court that ‘they had no intention of arresting him, as he was not an accused’.
As per his lawyers, Swamy was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and has lost the ability to hear from both his ears. He also suffers from several other ailments, added the lawyers. ILNS/SNG/RJ