A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing an appeal filed by the accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to submit the medical report of Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, on May 15.
A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing an appeal filed by Fr. Swamy against the rejection of his bail by the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on March 22 and the rejection of his interim medical bail plea on October 22, 2020.
Senior advocate Mihir Desai, representing Fr. Swamy, told the court that his client was in jail since October 8, 2020, and that he had been arrested two years after a raid was conducted in his house in Ranchi. Mr Desai said even the charges against his client had not been framed yet. The court enquired if all the medical papers had been submitted.
Mr. Desai said Fr. Swamy is an 84-year-old Jesuit priest and at an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease. The priest has worked for the tribals of Jharkhand for decades and has been in the hospital of Taloja Central Jail since the time of his arrest. He has lost the ability to hear, the advocate said, requesting for at least temporary bail in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Justice Shinde asked what were the charges against Fr. Swamy. Mr. Desai said he has been charged with almost all sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code. No arms or any objectionable material had been found in the priest’s possession, the lawyer said.
NIA’s counsel Sandesh Patil said the supplementary chargesheet had been filed by the agency but it was not annexed to the petition.
The court said it would issue notice asking for the medical report. The court said Fr. Swamy was certainly entitled to bail.
The court allowed Mr. Desai to implead the State government as a party. It directed that the Maharashtra government’s Home Secretary be made a party to the plea.
The Bench then posted the medical bail plea to be heard on May 17 and the appeal for regular bail on June 14.