Arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, Father Stan Swamy, the 83-year old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist from Jharkhand, on Friday moved a plea before a special court seeking an 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.
His lawyer, Sharif Shaikh, told the court that the defence team has learnt that Swamy may be shifted to another jail in the city. Following this, the court directed the Taloja jail SP to file a reply on the plea. Besides Swamy, while nine other accused arrested in the case are lodged in Taloja jail, three women accused are lodged in Byculla women’s jail.
Shaikh also told the court that he had learnt from news reports that a straw sipper and winter clothes have been provided to Swamy at the jail. He added that the information has not been received from the prison officially, as jail authorities are yet to submit a report on Swamy’s application seeking a straw sipper and winter clothes.
The court had last week directed the jail authorities to submit a report in this regard.
The Taloja jail authorities had informed the State Human Rights Commission that Swamy has been provided articles, including a sipper mug, straws, wheelchair, walker and walking stick. Also, two co-accused in the case have been assisting him as he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
Swamy has also moved other applications, including seeking his bag that was allegedly seized by the NIA at the time of his arrest. The court has asked the prosecution to file a reply on this.
Meanwhile, a letter purportedly written by Swamy, sent to The Indian Express by one of his colleagues, stated that jail authorities had been “very considerate” and given him a sipper, which he is using to drink tea and water.
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