The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked prison officials in Mumbai’s Taloja Jail to send tribal rights activist Stan Swamy for another medical examination to the city’s JJ Hospital, Live Law reported. The court passed the order while hearing a medical bail plea that the 84-year old Swamy had sought citing poor health.

The court asked the Taloja prison superintendent to take Swamy to the hospital on Thursday afternoon. The court also ordered the dean of JJ Hospital to constitute a committee of doctors including a neurophysician, ENT specialist, orthopaedic, a general physician and any other doctor required to examine Swamy’s complaint. The hospital has been asked to submit its report on May 21, Live Law reported.

Swamy, who is in custody in connection with the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, suffers from Parkinson’s disease. His health had deteriorated recently and the Jesuits, the Catholic religious order to which he belongs, had appealed to the Maharashtra government seeking medical attention for the activist.

On Tuesday, he was taken to JJ Hospital for tests, but was then brought back to the jail. Swamy’s friend and colleague Joseph Xavier told that he was put through some preliminary tests for conditions such as Parkinson’s, fever and stomach upset, but not for Covid-19. He was also vaccinated for coronavirus in the jail despite being unwell and weak, was told by a person familiar with the matter.

In April, he had moved the Bombay High Court challenging the rejection of two of his bail pleas by a special National Investigation Court. In Wednesday’s proceedings, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the National Investigation Agency, pointed out that Swamy’s bail plea has been rejected earlier. He also mentioned that a medical report on Swamy’s health condition was submitted to the court.

To this, Mihir Desai, appearing for Swamy, said that he had not received a copy of the medical report and submitted a note detailing the activist’s health condition, Bar and Bench reported.

The court took note of the medical report, which said that Swamy was “hemodynamically stable”, was given all facilities at the jail and was examined by a psychiatrist at regular intervals. The NIA’s counsel added that Swamy had never complained of lack of “medical issues”.

However, as Desai objected to the correctness of the report, the court asked Taloja Jail to arrange for a meeting with Swamy via videoconferencing at 10.30 am on May 21.

Swamy was arrested on October 8 by the National Investigation Agency from Ranchi, Jharkhand, and brought to Mumbai the next day. He suffers from multiple ailments and has fallen down in the jail several times.

The case

Swamy has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and terror-related offences of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly furthering the cause of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) through various civil rights organisations he worked with.

In his March bail plea, Swamy had alleged that he was being targeted by the central agency because of his writings and work related to caste and land struggles of the people of India and violation of democratic rights of the marginalised citizens of the country.

The NIA has, however, claimed that it has sufficient evidence to prima facie prove that Swamy was involved in the conspiracy and was directly involved in the Naxalite movement.

Several activists and academics have been accused of making inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the authorities claim triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day.