Would rather die in jail than be shifted to hospital: Stan Swamy to HC
Elgar Parishad accused and human rights activist Stan Swamy, currently lodged at Taloja jail, has refused to be shifted to a government hospital for better health. The 84-year-old Jesuit priest told the Bombay high court on Friday that he would prefer to die at Taloja jail than be shifted to even JJ Hospital.
Swamy told the bench of justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade via video conferencing that when he was arrested and brought to Taloja jail eight months back, he could walk, bathe and eat by himself, but due to the poor conditions inside the jail, his health has deteriorated so he would prefer to be sent to Ranchi instead of being shifted to some hospital.
In an earlier hearing on Swamy’s bail application on May 19, the bench had directed the Taloja jail authorities to take him to Sir JJ Hospital. It had also asked the dean to form a committee of expert doctors to examine Swamy and submit its report on May 21. The court had also sought Swamy’s presence through video conferencing on May 21.
The report from Sir JJ Hospital mentioned that Swamy’s health parameters were normal but he had severe hearing problems, lower back problem and general weakness.
On the bench’s suggestion that he be shifted to Sir JJ Hospital, Swamy said, “The condition of prisoners is not good and I would prefer to die here than be shifted to Sir JJ Hospital. I have seen the hospital and would prefer to remain in Taloja jail.”
Swamy also declined the suggestion of the bench to shift to some other hospital. The court allowed his counsel, senior advocate Mihir Desai, some time to convince Swamy and posted the hearing of the application on June 7.
The court also permitted Desai to approach it if Swamy could be convinced to shift to some other hospital.