Bhima-Koregaon case: NIA court rejects Father Stan Swamy’s plea for interim bail
Father Stan Swamy was arrested on October 8 from his residence in Ranchi and produced before the special court on October 9. He was remanded in judicial custody and has been lodged in Taloja jail since then.Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 08:38 IST
The special National Investigating Agency (NIA) court on Thursday rejected the interim bail plea filed by 83-year-old activist Father Stan Swamy, who was arrested in connection with Bhima-Koregaon case.
Swamy was arrested on October 8 from his residence in Ranchi and produced before the special court on October 9. He was remanded in judicial custody and has been lodged in Taloja jail since then.
His lawyer, Sharif Shaikh, had moved a plea for interim bail claiming, “The applicant is 83-years old, suffering from various ailments like hearing loss from both ears, arms injury. He has undergone two hernia operations, and still is suffering from abdomen pain. He suffers intense pain from lumbar spondylosis i.e. the tear and wear of the lumbar disc and tremors in both hands due to Parkinson’s disease.”
The plea also claimed that since the jails are crowded, Swamy is at risk considering the prevailing Covid-19 conditions in jails amid the pandemic.
The plea was opposed by special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty on various grounds.
Swamy was first questioned as a suspect in the case by the investigating agencies in 2018. He had approached the Bombay high court (HC) in October 2018 for quashing the complaint against him in this case. His lawyer Mihir Desai had then submitted to the court that Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), of which Swamy is a convenor, has no political colour. “PPSC is formed by the elite in the society with the aim of assisting prisoners unnecessarily languishing in jails in several states, and it has no political colour,” read Desai’s submissions.
The prosecution had also claimed that Swamy is only considered a suspect and not an accused. Considering the prosecution’s submission, the court had then dismissed the plea for quashing the complaint against Swamy.
Two years later, NIA began probing his role in the violence case.
While arresting him, NIA claimed, “He also received funds through an associate for the furtherance of CPI (Maoist) activities. He is the convenor of PPSC, a frontal organisation of CPI (Maoist). The documents related to aiding the activities of CPI (Maoist) and propaganda material of the banned outfit, including its literature, were seized from his possession.”
The agency in its charge sheet filed on October 9 claimed, “Evidence revealed that Swamy was in communication with CPI (Maoist) cadre com. Arun in which he communicated that after the arrest of urban CPI (Maoist) cadres from different parts of the country, particularly in parts of Maharashtra, a huge revocable damage has been caused to the party.”
“He received ₹8 lakhs through one comrade Mohan for furtherance of CPI (Maoist) activities,” the agency had claimed in the charge sheet.