The National Investigation Agency on Thursday told a special court in Mumbai that it did not confiscate human rights activist Stan Swamy’s straw and sipper when he was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case last month, Live Law reported.
On November 6, the 83-year-old Jesuit priest had filed an application before the special court seeking permission to use of a straw and sipper in Taloja Central Jail as he cannot hold a glass due to Parkinson’s disease. The prosecution, which had sought 20 days to file a reply to this application, claimed it had not seized either a straw or a sipper from him.
“Actually, they [Stan Swamy’s lawyers] never applied for straw and sipper,” Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty told Live Law. “They claimed that while arresting him we had recovered the straw and sipper from him. We simply said that we have recovered no such articles from him.”
Special NIA Judge DE Kothalikar rejected Swamy’s application after Shetty’s response. A new petition seeking a straw, sipper and winter clothes was filed, according to The Indian Express. The court directed the medical officer of the jail to respond to this and the matter will be next heard on December 4.
Swamy’s medical plea had stated that he has almost lost his hearing ability in both his ears, fallen in jail multiple times, has been operated on for a hernia twice and still has pain in his lower abdomen. His lawyer told a special court in Mumbai that he has been finding it difficult to even hold a cup due to Parkinson’s disease.
In a letter, Swamy had told his friends about fellow inmates who help him with his chores and said that despite all odds, “humanity is bubbling in prison”. Excerpts from the letter were shared on social media by Swamy’s friend, human rights activist John Dayal on November 14.
Swamy was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in Ranchi on October 8 and was brought to Mumbai the next day. They had alleged that Swamy is a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and was involved in a conspiracy to instigate caste violence in the Bhima Koregaon village near Pune in 2018. He has been in judicial custody since October 9.