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Stan Swamy files plea against constitutional validity of UAPA section

Jesuit priest says provision creates hurdle for accused to be granted bail

July 03, 2021 12:01 pm | Updated 12:01 pm IST - MUMBAI

Stan Swamy. File

Stan Swamy. File

Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence, has filed a fresh criminal petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of a section under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) that creates a hurdle for an accused to be granted bail.

Fr. Swamy, 84, currently being treated at a private hospital, has filed a fresh plea challenging Section 43 (D) (5) of the UAPA. The section explains “no person accused of an offence punishable under Chapters IV (punishment for terrorist activities) and VI (forteiture of proceeds of terrorism or any property intended to be used for terrorism) of this Act shall, if in custody, be released on bail or on his own bond”.

The petition states, “The section creates an insurmountable hurdle for any accused to be granted bail under the provisions of UAPA.”

Through his lawyer, Fr. Swamy has also challenged the use of “frontal organizations” by authorities to oppose the bail application blatantly, arbitrarily and also violating the fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality under the law) and 21 (Right to Life) under the Indian Constitution.

The matter is expected to be heard on July 3.

The Jesuit priest was shifted to the private hospital from Taloja Central Jail on May 29 after being directed by the Bombay High Court. He was was arrested from Ranchi on October 9, 2020, and charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and UAPA.

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