Father Stan Swamy (1937-2021)

Fr. Stan told Bombay High Court he preferred to die in jail than get treated in hospital

Stan Swamy. File  

Father Stan Swamy had told the Bombay High Court that he prefers to die in prison than get treated in any hospital.

On May 21, a committee of doctors led by the J.J.Hospital Dean and comprised an associate professor and head of department of neurology; associate professor, ENT department; associate professor, orthopedic department; associate professor, surgery department; and associate professor, psychiatry department, examined Fr. Stan.

Their report stated, “He has bilateral upper limb tremors, bilateral hearing loss, generalised weakness, occasional loose stools, and occasional lower back pain. He had tremors in both upper limbs and these tremors increased in action and in different postures. He had sluggish reflexes in lower limbs and normal reflexes in upper limbs. He had an imbalance of gait. His audiogram showed that he had right ear moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss and left ear severe sensorineural hearing loss.”

Panel’s treatment advice

The committee’s advice was that he should be provided with physical assistance, physical support in the form of a walking stick and a wheelchair as per requirement.

A division Bench of justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade noted, “We have observed that he has severe hearing problems and he is physically very weak. He has categorically stated that he does not want to be treated at any hospital and he will prefer to die in jail rather than get admitted to any hospital”.

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He informed the court that his general health had completely deteriorated after he came to the Taloja prison and ‘there is a lot of give and take in the prison’. He had, therefore, insisted that he should get interim bail.

Medical bail rejection

While rejecting Fr. Stan medical bail, the special NIA court stated, “prima facie it can be gathered that Fr. Stan, along with other members of the banned organisation, hatched a serious conspiracy to create unrest in the entire country and to overpower the government, politically and by using muscle power”.

Fr. Stan told Bombay High Court he preferred to die in jail than get treated in hospital

On March 22, 2021, special NIA judge D.E. Kothalikar said, “The material placed on record thus prima facie denote that the applicant [Fr. Stan] was not only the member of banned organisation Communist Party of India [Maoist] but he was carrying out activities further in the objective of the organisation which is nothing but to overthrow the democracy of the nation.”

The court concluded, “There are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation of commission of the offences punishable under chapters IV [punishment for terrorist activities] and VI [terrorist organisations] of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] against the applicant is prima facie true. Considering the express bar imposed by Section 43D 5 [no person accused with chapters IV and VI shall be released on bail] of the UAPA, he cannot be released on bail.”

The court also mentioned, “The material collected during the investigation would further state that the applicant had received Rs.8 lacs through Comrade Mohan, for furtherance of the Communist Party of India (Maoists) activities.”

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 12:29:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fr-stan-told-bombay-high-court-he-preferred-to-die-in-jail-than-get-treated-in-hospital/article35151282.ece

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