The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday said it would pass an order on Father Stan Swamy’s bail in the Bhima Koregaon violence case on March 22.
Fr Swamy, 83, a Jesuit priest and activist, has been working with tribals for decades and is currently lodged at the Taloja Central Jail after being arrested from Ranchi on October 9, 2020. He has Parkinson’s disease, has lost the ability to hear from both his ears, and suffers from intense pain from lumbar spondylosis.
On March 11, the NIA while probing the case had filed an application seeking permission to rely on additional documents to oppose Fr Swamy’s bail. On Tuesday, special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty appearing for the NIA informed the court that he wanted to rely on some parts of the case diary. A case diary is a book made and maintained by police officers while investigating a case.
However, advocate Sharif Shaikh, representing Fr. Swamy, opposed the same and said a case diary could not be considered at this stage by the prosecution as its only purpose was to assist the court.
Fr Swamy’s bail plea has been filed on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to establish how Fr Swamy had in any way taken part or committed or incited the commission of any unlawful activity. Hence, Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act could not be applied.
Mr. Shetty had previously pointed out that it was established during the investigation that Fr Swamy was a staunch supporter of the activities of organisations like Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People’s Union for Civil Liberties, which were working as “a frontal organisation of CPI (Maoist)”.
He had also said Fr Swamy has tried to dispose of evidence by deleting files showing his involvement in activities of CPI (Maoist) and that the NIA had recovered those files.
The special NIA court had rejected Fr Swamy’s interim medical bail on October 23, 2020.