The Bombay high court had on Friday at an urgent hearing directed that Fr Swamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, be shifted to the private hospital for 15 days after hearing his counsel Mihir Desai and additional solicitor general Anil Singh for National Intelligence Agency, which arrested him last October.
Fr Swamy’s lawyer communicated his positive status to the prison superintendent. The prison official informed TOI that after getting a call from the lawyer, two inmates including Arun Ferreira, who were Fr Swamy’s attendants, were tested. Both came negative on antigen tests on Sunday. They had tested negative earlier too, as had Fr Swamy, the official said.
A vacation bench of Justices S S Shinde and N R Borkar had clarified it was passing the order in “peculiar facts and circumstances of the case” on the NIA counsel’s submission that sending Fr Swamy to a private hospital of his choice may set a “wrong precedent”. The NIA had arrested Fr Swamy from his hometown, Ranchi, last October, accusing him of being a Maoist.
Desai had argued that the urgency to shift him to hospital arose as Fr Swamy was “unable to stand, eat or visit the toilet”. Desai informed the HC that Fr Swamy’s attendants at the prison had said his “health was extremely precarious with reduced oxygen saturation and acutely fluctuating blood pressure”.
On May 21, Fr Swamy in a virtual interaction with a vacation bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and S P Tavade, who noted he was physically weak, had refused to be shifted to any hospital, saying he preferred to await his death in prison. The bench had then permitted Desai to approach the HC before June 1 if the priest was convinced by then to be shifted to Holy Family. Fr Swamy filed an affidavit on May 28 affirming that he was ready to be shifted. The HC had called for a report from JJ Hospital on May 21 and it had said that he was normal and responsive but had severe hearing loss in an ear, unbalanced gait, lower limb problems and general weakness.