The Bombay High Court on Thursday extended the stay of Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, at a private hospital in the city till July 5 after the medical facility submitted a report saying his health condition remains "critical". Swamy (84) was shifted to the Holy Family Hospital in suburban Bandra for medical treatment from Navi Mumbai's Taloja prison, where he was lodged as an undertrial, following HC's order on May 28.
Swamy, who suffers from several ailments, including Parkinson's disease (a brain disorder) had moved the HC earlier this year through his counsel, senior advocate Mihir Desai, seeking treatment and interim bail on health grounds. He had tested positive for Covid-19 at the private hospital and was shifted to the ICU.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamdar said on Thursday that Swamy's latest medical report submitted by the private hospital said while he had recovered from Covid-19, his health condition continued to be "critical" and he "required continued intensive care." "As per the report, there are serious medical issues. In view of aforesaid report, we deem it appropriate to extend the stay of appellant till July 5," the HC said. It directed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the prosecuting agency in the case, be given a copy of the medical report.
The bench directed the NIA to go through the report and make its submissions on Swamy's plea on July 3, the next date of hearing. The octogenarian tribal rights activist, who hails from Jharkhand, was arrested in October 2020 and has been in jail since then.
The Elgar Parishad case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the western Maharashtra city's outskirts. The Pune Police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
The NIA later took over the probe into the case in which several activists and academicians have been named as accused.