The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has opposed the bail plea filed by Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy in the Bombay High Court, saying the Elgar Parishad case accused was a "Maoist" who engaged in activities to spread Maoism, and that he was part of a "deep rooted controversy to overthrow the government."
The central agency urged the HC to dismiss the plea of Stan Swamy, 84, saying his allegations of fabricated evidence, his denial of having played any role in the said conspiracy and other charges against him, were all "endeavours to confuse truth with falsehood, and to create a mist around the evidence and reality."
In an affidavit filed in the HC earlier this week, the NIA opposed the appeal filed by Stan Swamy through his counsel, senior advocate Mihir Desai, in which the priest had challenged a special court's order denying him bail on health grounds as well as on merits in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
Stan Swamy, who has told the HC on several occasions that he suffers from advanced stage of Parkinson's disease (a brain disorder) and many other ailments, is currently undergoing treatment at a Mumbai-based private hospital, where, as per the hospital report, his condition is "critical" and he is in "need of intensive care."
In its affidavit, however, the NIA has said there is no proof that Stan Swamy suffers from Parkinson's or any other sever ailment.
"Appellant /accused (Stan Swamy) has filed alleged medical documents. The same is not conclusive proof of alleged Parkinson disease or lumbar spondylosis. Moreover, the said medical documents which are disputed, including documents dated September 24, 2019, are more than one-year-old reports. It is, categorically submitted that the appellant/accused be put to strict proof of facts as alleged in the said documents," the affidavit reads.
The central agency said the special NIA court had been judicious while denying Stan Swamy bail and that the court had taken into account that the prison authorities at Taloja, where Stan Swamy has remained lodged as an undertrial since his arrest in October 2020, were well equipped to provide him necessary aid.
It further said electronic evidence collected in the case had revealed that Stan Swamy was an active member of the CPI (Maoist) and that he and his co-accused were part of a "deep-rooted conspiracy to commit an offence against the state" and to "disturb public tranquility."
"Stan Swamy and the other accused in the case intended to spread "the ideology of Maoism/Naxalism," the affidavit reads.
The agency claimed to have relied upon several books and literature that it recovered during raids at Stan Stan Swamy's residence in Ranchi before his arrest to conclude that the tribal rights activist should be arrested and arraigned as an accused in the case.
These include "literature of 50 years of Naxalbari," letters exchanged between Stan Swamy and his associates on "mobilizing adivasis," and a "guide on encrypted data communication on GSM network," among other things.
The anti-terror agency further said while Stan Swamy had tried to pretend before the courts that he was not well versed with technology, he had deleted several incriminating files from his personal computer before his arrest.
The NIA had recovered the deleted files, it said in the affidavit. "The act of deleting the files shows Stan Swamy was trying to escape from criminal justice. This act shows the accused is a very technologically sound person," the affidavit reads.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar was presiding over Stan Swamy's appeal against the special court order denying him bail in March this year.
The bench adjourned the hearing to July 3 after taking the NIA''s affidavit on record. It also permitted advocate Desai to file a rejoinder to the affidavit by the next date of hearing.
The bench also extended Stan Swamy's stay at the private Holy Family Hospital in suburban Bandra, where he is undergoing treatment in the ICU, till July 5.
The Elgar Parishad case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the western Maharashtra city's outskirts.
The Pune Police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
The NIA later took over the probe into the case in which several activists and academicians have been named as accused.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)