Days after the death of the 84-year-old jailed activist and Bhima Koregaon co-accused Stan Swamy, medical records of the ailing Jesuit priest were presented in front of the Bombay High Court. Submitted by the government of Maharashtra, the documents were presented in Court on Monday.
Swamy breathed his last in a Mumbai hospital while being in judicial custody last week. He was awaiting medical bail after being arrested by the National Investigation Agency last year in connection to the Elgar Parishad case.
Chief public prosecutor Aruna Pai told a bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar that the state had submitted "a compilation of Swamy's complete medical records" since the time he was lodged in the Taloja prison as an undertrial.
Swamy was arrested by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) from Ranchi in October 2020. He was interrogated at the time of his arrest by the NIA but the central agency never sought his custody.
Suffering from Parkinson's disease and a host of other medical ailments, Swamy, who was then 83-year-old, was remanded to judicial custody following his arrest. He was then admitted to the Taloja prison hospital in Navi Mumbai.
After informing the high court about Swamy's death on July 5 this year, senior counsel Mihir Desai, who had represented the tribal rights activist in the HC, had told the court that Swamy's death was a result of negligence on part of the NIA and the Maharashtra prison authorities who had failed to provide him timely and adequate medical aid.
Desai had also urged the HC at the time to keep Swamy's plea for medical bail and his plea challenging the bar on grant of bail under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act pending. He had also urged the HC to call for Swamy's medical records.
On Desai's request, the high court had passed an order calling for the medical records to ascertain the veracity of the allegations made against authorities.
On Tuesday, Pai submitted that the "Taloja prison authority had placed on record a 300-page long compilation of documents including medical reports from the time Stan Swamy was brought to Taloja Jail till his postmortem report".
Besides the state government, the private Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, where Swamy died during treatment, also submitted the late activist's medical records and the treatment provided to him.
The high court took all the documents on record. The bench also said that since Swamy died in judicial custody, a magisterial inquiry into his death, as mandated by section 176 of the CrPC, will be conducted.
"Whatever inquiry or investigation by the magistrate under 176 (CrPC) takes place, someone will have to participate in it now," the high court told Desai.
Desai said he had some submissions to make on such inquiry and he will do so on the next date of hearing.
The HC will hear Desai and all other parties on July 19.
The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.
The police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.
(With PTI Inputs)