Father Fraser Mascarenhas, an aide of late tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy, who was arrested under UAPA in the Elgar Parishad case, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking direction to a judicial magistrate to drop the charges leveled against Swamy by the NIA. Is.
New Delhi: Father Fraser Mascarenhas, an aide of late tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, has moved the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to a judicial magistrate to drop the charges leveled against Swamy by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). .
In a petition filed through senior advocate Mihir Desai on Thursday, Mascarenhas also sought a judicial inquiry into Swamy’s custodial death from the court.
Let us inform that Stan Swamy died in a private hospital in July 2021 after being infected with COVID-19. He was waiting for his medical bail.
Last month, the Jamshedpur Jesuit Province (JJP) requested the High Court to treat Mascarenhas as a relative of Stan Swamy and allow it to challenge the observations made by the trial court while rejecting Swamy’s bail plea in the Elgar Parishad case.
A bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Sarang Kotwal has asked JJP to file a fresh petition, disposing of all the pending petitions filed by Swamy.
Earlier in March 2021, the special court of NIA had rejected the bail application of Stan Swamy. The court had said that there was prima facie evidence against Swamy in the case.
Swamy then appealed to the High Court but he died before his petition was decided.
In a fresh petition filed in the High Court, Mascarenhas said the NIA court’s observations tantamount to a preliminary inquiry into the crime against Swamy and have tarnished his image.
“Had Swamy been alive, he would have had the right to prove his innocence and his associate should be given the right to remove the stain on his name as he (Swami) died during the trial,” the petition said.
According to the Bar and Bench report, the petition sought a declaration from the court to drop the charges leveled against Swamy by the special NIA court.
It was said in the petition that the series of allegations against Swamy went up to his grave.
The petition also urged the High Court to conduct a court-monitored judicial inquiry, which is conducted under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, on the death of a person in judicial custody.
Apart from the death of Swami, there has also been a demand to investigate the factors which led to his death. These include his deteriorating health in Taloja Jail and lack of health facilities there.
The High Court has not yet fixed the date for hearing on the petition.
Let us inform that 16 activists, lawyers and educationists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. This investigation has been termed as a witchhunt against those who criticize the Narendra Modi government.
The Elgar Parishad case pertains to provocative speeches made at a conference held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed led to the speeches the next day at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of western Maharashtra city. Violence took place near
the wire reported last week that the phone of activist Rona Wilson, accused in the case, was hacked and tampered with by Pegasus spyware.
Earlier in February this year the wire had revealed that Wilson’s laptop was also tampered with and that 10 objectionable letters were planted in his computer. These letters are related to the chargesheet filed against 16 accused in the case.
(With inputs from news agency PTI)
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