The Bombay High Court on Thursday said tribal rights activist Stan Swamy will remain at a private hospital in Mumbai till June 18 as he is suffering from coronavirus, reported PTI. The 84-year-old activist has been in custody since October in connection with the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar gave the order after Swamy’s counsel Mihir Desai told the High Court about the activist being infected with Covid-19 and sought an extension on his stay at the hospital.

The High Court also directed the Holy Family Hospital, where Swamy is admitted, to submit the medical reports of the activist in a sealed envelope on the next date of hearing on June 17.

In May, Swamy’s health condition had deteriorated and he was shifted to Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai. This came after, on May 28, the Bombay High Court had ordered Swamy to be moved to a hospital for 15 days.

On May 19, the Bombay High Court had asked Taloja prison officials to send Swamy for a medical examination at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital. The court had asked the hospital to submit its report on May 21. The activist’s medical report said that he suffered from extreme hearing loss in both ears, and tremors. It also said that he needed a walking stick or a wheelchair. However, his overall condition was said to be stable then.

On May 21, Swamy had told the Bombay High Court that he did not want to be admitted to a hospital, instead urging the court to consider his request for interim bail. “I have been in deteriorating condition,” he said. “I would rather be in Ranchi. I do not think any of that [hospitalisation] is going to help.”

However, as his health condition deteriorated, Swamy agreed to be admitted to a hospital after Desai spoke to him through the counsel call facility.

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Violating the rights of older persons: Why Stan Swamy’s continued detention is so unjust

The case against Swamy

Swamy was arrested on October 8 by the National Investigation Agency from Ranchi, and brought to Mumbai the next day.

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 bail plea in March, Swamy had said that he was being targeted by the NIA because of his writings and work related to caste and land struggles of the people.

The NIA claimed that it has sufficient evidence to prima facie prove that Swamy was involved in the conspiracy to instigate caste violence in the Bhima Koregaon village near Pune in 2018.

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.