A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai has rejected the bail application of 83-year-old tribal rights activist from Jharkhand, Stan Swamy.
In October last year, the court had rejected his temporary bail application that had been filed on medical grounds and had cited vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic and sought relief till a respite was found for the pandemic.
In this present bail application filed in November last year, Swamy had stated that he is 83-year-old, has hearing loss from both ears and suffers from Parkinson's. It had mentioned that his name does 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 to Swami, so was the inventory of seized articles that he was forced to sign. It also did not follow the procedure in electronic seizures as the hash value was not provided.
The plea had further mentioned that the NIA has also recovered from Swamy’s system documents like, “How to pay a bill” showing that he is a not 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, does not make Swamy himself a Maoist. Swamy is being falsely implicated due to the nature of his work, it said, adding that keeping a sick 83-year-old incarcerated does not serve any purpose to the prosecution.
The NIA had opposed the grant of bail to him stating that he was involved in the conspiracy related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence and also in the Naxalite movement. It said further that there is sufficient prima facie evidence against him. The agency said it was still investigating the digital devices seized from him.