Do not have a straw and sipper to give Stan Swamy, NIA tells court

Hearing on plea for feeding aids, warm clothing put off.

November 26, 2020 06:30 pm | Updated November 30, 2020 05:27 pm IST - Mumbai

Stan Swamy. File

Stan Swamy. File

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday told the special NIA court that they do not have a straw and sipper to give 83-year-old Father Stan Swamy.

Special NIA Judge D.E. Kothalikar, presiding over the case, had directed the medical officer to reply to the requirement of a straw and sipper, along with winter clothes. The matter will now be heard on December 4.

On November 6, Father Swamy filed an application seeking permission to allow him a straw and sipper in Taloja Central Jail as he cannot hold a glass because he has Parkinson’s Disease.

On October 22, his medical bail was rejected by the same judge who relied upon the directions of the high powered committee constituted to release undertrial prisoners during COVID-19 pandemic. The court said, “The accused (Father Swamy) is involved in commission of offence punishable under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act cannot be said to be entitled for interim bail.”

The medical plea was sought on the grounds that he has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and has almost lost hearing from both ears. He has fallen in jail multiple times and has been operated for hernia twice and still has pain in his lower abdomen. Therefore, he needs to be protected from COVID-19.

The court, however, recorded, “The grounds pleaded by the applicant (Father Swamy) for grant of bail does not reveal that the medical treatment provided to the applicant in prison is not sufficient. On the contrary the applicant had submitted an application for giving directions to the jail authorities to provide him the required amenities.”

The court also mentioned, that the Superintendent of Taloja Central had said, “Since the applicant is old aged person, he has been lodged in the separate cell in the hospital/dispensary section. It does not speak even by stretch of imagination that the applicant is suffering from any illness for which the treatment is not available in the prison.”

Father Swamy is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018 and is currently in the prison hospital. He was arrested by the central agency on October 8 from his residence at Ranchi and was brought to Mumbai the next day. The agency did not seek for his police custody and he was remanded to judicial custody from October 9.

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