‘No hospitalisation, would rather die in jail’: Stan Swamy urges Bombay HC to grant him interim bail

Octogenarian Jesuit priest Stan Swamy told the court that he had a functional body when he first appeared before it eight months ago, but his health had steadily deteriorated since then

Father Stan Swamy (File Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Father Stan Swamy (File Photo Courtesy: PTI)

NH Web Desk

Octogenarian Jesuit priest and Bhima Koregaon accused Father Stan Swamy told the Bombay High Court on Friday that he does not want to get admitted to any hospital and requested for release on interim bail.

He further said that he does not want to get hospitalised at JJ hospital but would rather die in jail.

The court had on Wednesday directed the Taloja Central Prison authorities to produce Swamy before it through video conference.

When Swamy appeared before the court on Friday, the Bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade enquired about his health and living conditions in the jail, Bar & Bench reported.

Justice Kathawalla specifically asked Swamy if he was willing to get admitted to JJ hospital for a few days till his general health improves.

Swamy clarified that he does not want to get admitted to JJ hospital as he had been to that hospital twice before. "I have been there twice. I am not for being hospitalised in JJ Hospital. It will not improve, it will keep going. I would rather die here very shortly if things go on as it is," Swamy said.

When the court was informed by Swamy's lawyer, Senior Advocate Mihir Desai, that Swamy may be apprehensive of JJ Hospital since he has seen the set up there, the court enquired whether Swamy would be willing to get admitted to any other hospital.

Swamy, however, stated that he does not want to get admitted to any other hospital.

The Bench had earlier directed the prison authorities to take Swamy to the JJ Government Hospital for a medical check up.

They enquired from Swamy whether the same was done, to which he answered in the affirmative.

Swamy also informed the court that when he was brought to the court eight months ago, he came with a functional body but since then, his health has steadily deteriorated.

"I was taken to JJ hospital and there were a lot of people but I had no opportunity to explain what I should be given. There are some medicines which the jail authorities game me, but my deterioration is more powerful than the tablets they are giving me," Swamy submitted.

Desai submitted that keeping him in Taloja would not be a solution as the jail prison lacks facilities. "They do not even have MBBS doctors," he said.

The court, however, pointed out Swamy's disinclination to go to any hospital.

Desai also tried to speak to Swamy during the course of the hearing to try and convince him to take up the option of getting admitted to another hospital. Swamy, however, maintained that his health is deteriorating and stuck to his plea for interim bail.

"The only thing I request is to consider for interim bail. I have been in deteriorating condition. I would rather be in Ranchi. I do not think any of that (hospitalization) is going to help" he said.

Desai asked the court to grant him some time to confer with Swamy before taking a decision on proceeding with the hearing on interim bail.

"Since he is a priest, he has this approach that 'forgive them and let me suffer', so if he agrees, grant me liberty to move," Desai requested.

The court, however, deduced that Swamy's general ailments were due to old age.

"He is suffering from age related problems. He is an intelligent man, he is pressing for interim bail because he knows he is suffering from age related problems," the Bench said.

The court then posted the matter for hearing on June 7, 2021.

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