Mumbai: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in the city has denied bail to the 83-year-old tribal rights activist from Jharkhand, Stan Swamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima-Koregaon case. Swamy was arrested in October last year.
At that time, the court had rejected his temporary bail application which was filed on medical grounds. That plea had cited his vulnerability to the Covid-19 pandemic and sought relief till there was respite from the situation.
In the present bail application filed on the merits of the case in November last year, Swamy had cited his age, his hearing loss in both ears and Parkinson's disease. Further, the application had mentioned that his name did not figure in the original FIR and narrated how in 2018, search procedures were not followed by the Pune police team, as the search order was in Marathi and not translated for Swamy, as was the inventory of seized articles that he was forced to sign. Police also did not follow procedure in electronic seizures as hash value was not provided, it had said.
The plea had further mentioned that the NIA had also recovered from Swamy’s system documents like, “How to pay a bill”, which showed that he was not a technologically sound person. Referring to communications Swamy had with undertrials accused of being Maoists, the plea says that working for undertrials who could or could not have been Maoists, did not make him a Maoist. He said he was being falsely implicated due to the nature of his work, adding that keeping a sick 83-year-old incarcerated did not serve any purpose to the prosecution.
The NIA had opposed grant of bail to him stating that he was involved in the conspiracy related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence and also involved in the Naxalite movement. It said further that there was sufficient prima facie evidence against him. The agency, while opposing his bail, also said it was still investigating the digital devices seized from him.