A special court in India has further extended the judicial custody of an elderly Jesuit priest facing sedition charges. Source: UCA News.
The court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) based in Mumbai extended the judicial custody of Fr Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old social activist, for another 21 days to November 26 when the case will be heard again.
The same court on October 23 had directed the priest's personal appearance in the court. However, officials did not produce him reportedly on account of his advanced age and the COVID-19 threat.
Officials of the NIA, a federal anti-terror combat unit, arrested Fr Swamy on October 8 at his home on the outskirts of Ranchi, Jharkhand's capital in eastern India.
He is accused of sedition and having links with an outlawed Maoist group. The following day, the priest was produced in the special court in Mumbai and was remanded in 14-day judicial custody despite his old age and various ailments.
Jesuit Fr A. Santhanam, a lawyer who is monitoring the case, said Fr Swamy is only allowed to make phone calls once a fortnight but it allowed to write and receive letters.
Fr Santhanam said jail authorities refused to accept warm clothes sent for Fr Swamy. A fresh petition was filed in court on Friday seeking to provide Fr Swamy with a straw and a sipper as he cannot consume liquid comfortably because of his Parkinson's disease, the priest said.