Stan Swamy, an influential Jesuit priest and activist, was refused bail by the National Investigation Agency Court with prima facie evidence suggesting Stan Swamy being a member of a banned Maoist organization. The 83-year old is charged in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
NIA Special Judge DE Kothalikar rejected Stan’s bail application, asserting that based on the material on record it is apparent that Stan Swamy, “hatched a serious conspiracy to create unrest in the entire country and to overpower the Government, politically and by using muscle power”.
“The material placed on record thus prima facie denotes that the applicant was not only the member of banned organisation CPI (Maoist) but he was carrying out activities further in the objective of the organisation which is nothing but to overthrow the democracy of the nation,” the Special Judge added.
The NIA court also took into consideration Stan Swamy’s communication with his co-accused via e-mails, his reference to his co-accused as “comrades”, and receiving a sum of Rs. 8 lakh from a fellow “comrade” named Mohan, allegedly for the furtherance of Maoist activities.
“Prima facie it can be gathered that the applicant alongwith other members of the banned organization hatched a serious conspiracy to create unrest in the entire country and to overpower the Government, politically and by using muscle power”, the NIA judge states clearly in his order.
Stan Swamy was arrested in October 2020 from Ranchi and since then has been lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai. Stan Swamy’s lawyer, Mr. Sharif Shaikh attempted to secure bail for Stan, saying that Stan suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has lost hearing in both ear. However, the NIA Court refused this plea, and instead issued instruction for Stan Swamy to be shifted to a prison hospital.
On refusal to grant bail on health grounds, the NIA court cited Supreme Court precedents and observed, “If seriousness of the allegations made against the applicant are considered in proper perspective, in that case there will be no hesitation to conclude that the collective interest of the community would outweigh the right of personal liberty of the applicant and as such the old age and or alleged sickness of the applicant would not go in his favour, so that the discretion to release the applicant can be exercised in his favour.”
The Special Public Prosecutor had opposed Stan’s bail, citing Stan’s involvement with the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The Prosecutor told the NIA court that Stan Swamy was staunch supporter of organization involved with the Maoists. The NIA Court accepted the Prosecutor’s contentions and rejected Swamy’s bail application.
Arrest of Stan Swamy and his role in Bhima Koregaon violence
According to the NIA, Stan Swamy was a key conspirator in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case of 2017, which witnessed violence, stone-pelting, and arson at Shaniwar Wada in Pune. He was arrested on October 8 and produced before the Special Court in Mumbai the following day. Interestingly, he was never put under police custody and was instead remanded to judicial custody at Taloja Central jail. The NIA had informed that all legal formalities, including medical examination, were undertaken.
As per the Central investigative agency, Stan Swamy is a ‘hard-core CPI (Maoist) activist’ who had received funds from other Maoists for furthering the activities of the banned outfit. He is also the convenor of PPSC. “Incriminating documents related to communications for furthering the activities of the banned terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist) were seized from his possession,” the NIA emphasised.