Jesuit priest and activist StanSwamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, hastested positive for coronavirus.
Swamy, 84, who is suffering from Parkinsons diseaseand several other ailments, was shifted from the Taloja prisonin neighbouring Navi Mumbai to the Holy Family Hospital hereon May 28, following the Bombay High Courts orders.
Swamy was tested at the private hospital and hisresult came out positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, hislawyer Mihir Desai said.
Desai alleged that this was a result of “criminalnegligence” on part of the Taloja prison authorities, whofailed to provide adequate care to the inmates and conducttheir RT-PCR tests timely.
On May 28, a bench of Justices SS Shinde and NR Borkardirected the state prison authorities to ensure Swamy wasshifted from the Taloja prison to the hospital, after Desaimoved the bench seeking an urgent hearing.
Swamy had been in the Taloja prison hospital since hisarrest in the case in October 2020.
Desai had earlier moved a vacation bench led byJustice SJ Kathawala, seeking medical aid and bail for Swamyon health grounds.
At that time, the bench said while the issue ofmedical bail would be decided later, Swamy could be shifted tothe state-run J J Hospital in Mumbai for treatment.
Swamy, who was then present before the court viavideo-conferencing, refused to get admitted to the J JHospital, saying he had been there twice earlier already butfound no relief.
He had said that he would rather die in prison than goto the J J Hospital.
Swamy had told the HC that his mental and physicalhealth declined steadily while at the Taloja prison.
He had urged the HC for interim bail.
Advocate Desai had told the bench that considering hisill health and co-morbidities, Swamy was at the risk ofcontracting the coronavirus infection.
Swamy had said he was also worried about his co-inmates at the hospital.
On both the hearings, the NIAs counsel, AdditionalSolicitor General Anil Singh, and the states counsel, Y PYagnik, objected to advocate Desais request.
They had said the state could not be expected to bearthe cost of Swamys treatment at the private hospital andsuggested he may be shifted to the J J Hospital.
The bench led by Justice Shinde, however, permittedSwamy to be shifted to the Holy Family Hospital after Desaisaid the cost of treatment would be borne by Swamy and hisaides.
The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatoryspeeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017,which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next daynear the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirtsof the western Maharashtra city.
The police have also claimed the conclave wasorganised by people with alleged Maoist links.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) later tookover the probe into the case.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)