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Elgar Parishad case: Stan Swamy on ventilator, Bombay HC to hear his lawyers today

Swamy, who has been admitted to a private hospital since May, was in the Intensive Care Unit and was put on a ventilator on Sunday after he had difficulty breathing and his oxygen levels were fluctuating, his lawyer Mihir Desai said.

Father Stan Swamy is a Jesuit priest and a tribal rights activist based in Jharkhand.

Lawyers of Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, moved the Bombay High Court on Monday morning, seeking an urgent hearing on his medical bail plea after the octogenarian’s health condition deteriorated on Sunday and he was put on ventilator support.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar on Monday pointed out to Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for NIA that it has received praecipe by Swamy’s lawyers seeking an urgent hearing. The court said that while it was scheduled to take up the same on Tuesday along with plea seeking bail on merits, it will hear Swamy’s lawyers at 2:30 pm today.

Swamy, who has been admitted to a private hospital since May, was in the Intensive Care Unit and was put on a ventilator on Sunday after he had difficulty breathing and his oxygen levels were fluctuating, his lawyer Mihir Desai said.

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Post-midnight, Desai said Sunday, Swamy’s health condition deteriorated. This, he added, could be a result of long-term post-Covid complications.

Swamy was arrested on October 8 last year and had been lodged at Taloja central jail till he was shifted to Holy Family hospital on May 30 following directions from the HC.

In the previous hearings, the court had noted that there were “serious medical issues” after perusing the hospital medical director’s reports on Swamy.

Dr Ian D’souza, the medical director of Holy Family Hospital, refused to comment on Swamy’s health. “We have to respect patient confidentiality. I cannot disclose anything about his treatment and health at this point,” he said. Cardiologist Dr J P Jadwani also refused to comment.

Swamy had sought interim bail on grounds of the pandemic citing his various health issues, including Parkinson’s disease. In May, before he was shifted to the private hospital, Swamy had appeared before the High Court through video-conference from Taloja jail. He then told the court that when he was brought to the jail, his core systems were still functional but there had been a steady regression and he was unable to perform daily chores, including eating and walking without assistance.

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