NIA special court rejects Stan Swamy’s plea for straw and sipper

Mumbai: A special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act on Thursday rejected an application of 83-year-old tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest Stan Swamy seeking a straw and sipper in prison. The jailed activist requested the NIA to return the straw and sipper they had reportedly seized during his arrest.

Stan Swamy submitted an application 20 days ago, citing the hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. The court had directed the NIA to respond to the plea after 20 days. On Thursday, the NIA informed the special court that at the time of his arrest, the sipper and straw were not part of the seized items and referred to the panchnama. NIA judge DE Kothalikar rejected Stan Swamy’s plea.

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Sharif Shaikh, who represented Swamy on his behalf, made a fresh request to provide Swamy with winter wear, a straw and sipper at their cost. Swamy will not get the sipper or warm clothes at least till December 4, as the court has asked the jail authorities to file a report on whether he needs the articles he has requested.

Meanwhile, Swamy on Thursday moved a special court under the NIA Act, seeking regular bail in the case against him for his alleged links to the activists arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. He has sought bail on the merits of the case, submitting that the NIA has failed to establish any prima facie evidence against him or his involvement in the case.

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Swamy was arrested by the NIA in Ranchi on October 8 and was brought to Mumbai the next day. They had alleged that Swamy is a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and was involved in a conspiracy to instigate caste violence in the Bhima Koregaon village near Pune in 2018. He has been in judicial custody since October 9.

On October 23, a special NIA court had denied Swamy’s interim bail plea on health grounds.

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