The special NIA court, which rejected the Elgaar Parishad case accused Father Stan Swamy’s bail plea on Monday, had said that the 83-year-old Jesuit priest conspired with Maoists who were trying to overthrow the elected government and seize power through an armed rebellion.
Special judge DE Kothalikar, who rejected Swamy’s bail plea on Monday, said in his order, which was made available on Tuesday, said that prima facie Swamy had hatched a “serious conspiracy” with members of a banned Maoist organisation to create unrest in the country and to overthrow the government.
The judge said that based on the material on record it seemed Swamy was a member of the banned Maoist organisation CPI (M).
The material that the court referred to included around “140 e-mails between the applicant (Swamy) and his co-accused,” the fact that Swamy and others he communicated with, were referred to as “comrades”, and that Swamy had received Rs 8 lakh from one comrade, Mohan, allegedly for the furtherance of Maoist activities. The court observed that as per the submissions made by the special public prosecutor the word comrade was used while addressing the members of CPI (M).
The prosecution had also told the court that during a raid at Stan Swamy’s properties in 2018 and 2020, they had recovered 40 documents, including the literature of 50 years of Naxalbari, CPI (M) press releases, circulars issued by the Central Committee, the literature on how to struggle things, letters, guide of encrypted data communication on GSM Network, message on the celebration of 13th Anniversary of CPI (M), an essential underground handbook, mini manual of urban guerrilla, the constitution of CPI (M), documents related to the status of PLGA in excel sheet form, and a document on strategy and tactics of Indian Revolution.
The court noted that another letter issued by a person named Comrade Arun to Swamy starts with salutations, ‘Lal Johar’. The prosecution had told the court that the words ‘Comrade’ and ‘Lal Johar’ are generally used by the members of the CPI (M).
Stan Swamy was arrested in October last year from Jharkhand in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case.
As per the Pune Police, which was initially investigating the case before handing it over to the NIA, the alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, were partially responsible for the violence witnessed the next day in Bhima Koregaon.
The Pune Police had claimed that the conclave was backed by outlawed Maoist groups.
Based on the recoveries made during raids at the premises owned by several accused high-profile activists, the investigating agency had told the court that the CPI (Maoist) was waging not a conventional war, but, a people’s war by mobilising people on a massive scale both militarily and politically.
The court also looked through various investigation papers which said that Swamy and his organisation ‘Bagaicha’ were “deeply involved in facilitating the interest/furtherance of CPI (M) activities by its deep rooted association” with other organisations.
The court further said, “The material placed on record thus prima facie denote that the applicant (Swamy) was not only the member of banned organisation CPI (Maoist) but he was carrying out activities further in the objective of the organisation which is nothing but to overthrow the democracy of the nation.”
The judge also refused to take into account a published report of alleged tampering with the computer of Swamy’s co-accused in the case, Rona Wilson. He said that raising questions on the authenticity of the evidence in the case would amount to interference with the court proceedings.
“It is well known that present proceeding is sub judice. Therefore, making any comments as to the evidence to be placed before the Court would amount to interference in the administration of justice. In fact, such act is required to be deprecated,” the order said.