The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court will consider an application by Elgaar Parishad accused Father Stan Swamy, the 83-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, seeking clone copies of data retrieved from electronic equipment that was seized during his arrest. This came after counsels representing Swamy told the court that a huge amount of data was collected from him, yet the amount of data cloned and provided to him was only 8 Terabyte (TB).
Moreover, Swamy’s counsel also informed the court presided over by special judge D E Kothalikar of the reply received from the jail authorities on the possible transfer in view of his various ailments and age. Swamy had moved a plea seeking opportunity to be heard if a decision is taken to transfer him to any other prison. Swamy has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai since his arrest in October. The court has asked the authorities to reply to the plea. Swamy submitted to the court that any such transfer should be done only after intimating the court and giving Swamy an opportunity to argue in that.
Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty for NIA however opposed Swamy’s bail plea along with other applications and said that the investigation agency has taken only relevant data and has given a copy of the same to the applicant. After the court asked NIA to give a copy of all the data it had taken, Shetty sought time to take instructions on the extent of data recovered.
Moreover, advocates Sudeep Pasbola and Sharif Shaikh for Swamy moved another application seeking Swamy’s bag that was allegedly seized by NIA during his arrest and also raised apprehension regarding his possible transfer to another jail. However, NIA and jail authorities said that they do not have any bag that belongs to Swamy and opposed the plea.
Swamy’s counsels apprised the court that as per reply by Taloja Jail authorities, he may have to be shifted to a better-equipped jail due to his health ailments and age. The lawyer said that they should be heard if he is likely to be shifted and the shifting can happen only on order of court.
The court was also informed about the application by co-accused Gautam Navlakha seeking from jail authorities to provide him five books per month in Taloja prison. After hearing submissions, the court granted NIA to respond to the pleas and posted further hearings on December 21.
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