NIA court order on Stan Swamy’s bail plea on March 2

Stan Swamy sought bail on the ground that the prosecution had failed to establish how he had taken part or committed or incited the commission of any unlawful activity

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court will pass its order on Father Stan Swamy’s petition for bail in the Bhima Koregaon violence case on March 2.

Fr. Swamy, 83, a jesuit priest and activist working with tribals for decades, is currently at the Taloja Central Jail. He was arrested from Ranchi on October 9 last year and was directly sent to judicial custody. He has Parkinson’s disease, has lost hearing in both his ears and suffers from intense pain from lumbar spondylosis.

Fr. Swamy sought bail on the ground that the prosecution had failed to establish how he had taken part or committed or incited the commission of any unlawful activity. Therefore, section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) could not be applied.

Advocate Sharif Shaikh, appearing for Fr. Swamy, had previously argued that the prosecution had not brought anything on record to suggest that he was involved in any kind of terrorist act. Therefore sections 16 (punishment for terrorist act), 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of the UAPA were not applicable to him.

However, special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty, representing the NIA, pointed out that it had been established during the investigation that Fr. Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations like Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People’s Union for Civil Liberties that were working as frontal organisation of the CPI(Maoists). He said Fr. Swamy had tried to dispose of evidence by deleting files showing his involvement in the activities of the CPI(Maoists) and the NIA had managed to recover them.

The special NIA court had rejected Fr. Swamy’s interim medical bail on October 23 last year.

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