Indian Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy will spend more time in prison despite his deteriorating health after Bombay High Court adjourned his bail plea hearing until June 7. Source: UCA News.
The state court of Maharashtra, which took up the bail plea on Friday, offered to send the 84-year-old priest to a government or private hospital in state capital Mumbai. The plea was filed on grounds of poor health.
However, the priest rejected the offer, saying his only request was for interim bail so that he could go home to Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state in eastern India.
The priest used video conferencing to tell the court about his conditions in Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai city.
Fr Swamy, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, hearing impairment and other age-related illnesses, was jailed on October 9, a day after he was arrested at his home in Ranchi on charges of sedition and links with outlawed Maoists
The priest said that when he arrived at the prison “whole systems of my body were very functional, but there has been a steady, slow regression of my bodily functions”.
On May 19, when the priest’s bail application came up for hearing before the court, there were contradictory reports about his health. The court then ordered a heath check-up for Fr Swamy.
“The details of the health report are not released yet,” said Fr A. Santhanam, a Jesuit priest who is following the case. “But we assume he has no COVID-19 infection as he not been taken into quarantine,” he said.
Indian Jesuit remains in jail as court adjourns bail plea (By Saji Thomas, UCA News)