Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to transfer ailing Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old tribal rights activist – to the Holy Family Hospital from Taloja Central Jail for treatment. He is accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad case.
In an urgent hearing, a bench of justices SS Shinde and NR Borkar allowed Swamy hospitalization and an attendant after Senior Advocate Mihir Desai submitted the Jesuit priest’s condition was not improving.
Swamy had interacted with another vacation from prison last week and refused to get admitted to any hospital, especially JJ Hospital. “I don’t think it would make any difference. Whatever happens to me, I would like to be with my own,” Swamy had said, adding, he would prefer to possibly die in prison if he was not granted interim bail.
On Friday, Desai, assisted by advocate Mihir Joshi informed the bench that Swamy’s blood pressure is dropping, and he continues to feel weak. Swamy had communicated this to his friend Father Joseph Xavier over a call.
Swamy has agreed on an affidavit to move to a private hospital and bear his medical expenses, Desai submitted, adding that he would require an attendant.
State counsel JP Yagnik opposed the prayer saying the Taloja had all the facilities. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the National Investigating agency said Swamy could be shifted to the State-run JJ Hospital or any other government hospital. The bench then dictated the order allowing father Swamy to be shifted to Holy Family Hospital at his own expense and request the hospital to allow him an attendant.
“It is not in dispute that age is 84 years and according to the minutes of reports and findings recorded by a team of doctors from JJ Hospital, the appellant needs treatment. There is no doubt that JJ hospital is equipped with doctors, medical staff and equipment and medicines. However, due to the present pandemic situation and influx of patients, it may not be possible to give attention to the appellant in JJ. We believe that the appellant can be given a choice of Holy family hospital for his treatment for 2 weeks,” the bench said
Appellant will bear the expenses. We request that the administration of said hospital provides one attendant keeping in view the age of the appellant,” it added.