Elgar Parishad case: Bombay HC says Stan Swamy entitled to bail, issues notice to NIA

Elgar Parishad case: Bombay HC says Stan Swamy entitled to bail, issues notice to NIA

The Bombay High Court said 84-year-old Stan Swamy is “certainly entitled” to get a bail and asked the NIA to file its reply on his medical bail plea.

A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and sought its response on a medical bail plea filed by Stan Swamy. The court said Stan Swamy is “certainly entitiled to a bail”.

Stan Swamy, 84, a Jesuit priest and a tribal rights activist, is an accused in the Elgar Parishad case. He was arrested by the NIA last year. He has been accused of having Maoist links, but even months after his arrest, investigating agencies are yet to frame charges against him.

Hearing the medical bail plea, a bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale directed the Maharashtra government to file a report on Stan Swamy’s current health condition by May 15.

Stan Swamy had approached the high court challenging a special NIA court’s decision in March this year when it rejected his plea for bail.

Arguing on his behalf, senior advocate Mihir Desai told the high court that Stan Swamy was arrested in October 2020 and has since been at the Taloja prison hospital.

“He is in the advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease. He has lost the ability to hear. Given the raging Covid-19 pandemic, our request is to at least grant him temporary bail,” Desai said.

To this, the bench said Stan Swamy is “certainly entitled to bail”, and asked what were the charges against him and at what stage was the Elgar-Parishad case hearing before the special NIA court.

Desai informed that court that Stan Swamy had been charged under several stringent sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He also said the charges were yet to be framed in the case before the special court.

“Though it is nobody’s case that arms or any objectionable material were found in his (Swamy’s) possession, though he is an 84-year-old priest, who had been working in Jharkhand, he has been charged under all possible sections of the UAPA and IPC,” Desai said.

Meanwhile, the NIA said it required some time to file its reply on the bail lea. The NIA pointed out that Stan Swamy had filed his appeal 152 days after the statutory time limit permitting filing of appeals in cases of medical bail.

To this, Desai argued that on April 27, 2021, the Supreme Court condoned delays for all matters filed during the pandemic.

The high court also said Swamy had “not gained anything” by delaying the filing of his appeal and condoned such delay. “We will issue notice and call for the medical report. We will give you the liberty to mention the appeal before the vacation bench,” the HC said.

The case against Stan Swamy relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the city’s outskirts. The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.


source : https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/india/story/elgar-parishad-case-bombay-hc-stan-swamy-bail-plea-notice-nia-1798770-2021-05-04

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