3 Jun 2021 4:54 PM GMT
The Bombay High Court, while hearing a plea for interim medical bail for DU Associate Professor Hany Babu, took an exception to a recent editorial written by a lawyer criticizing the Court's handling of the bail plea of octegenarian Father Stan Swamy. Both Hany Babu and Stan Swamy are undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case. The court witnessed dramatic scenes on Thursday after Justice...
The Bombay High Court, while hearing a plea for interim medical bail for DU Associate Professor Hany Babu, took an exception to a recent editorial written by a lawyer criticizing the Court's handling of the bail plea of octegenarian Father Stan Swamy. Both Hany Babu and Stan Swamy are undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The court witnessed dramatic scenes on Thursday after Justice SS Shinde, heading the division bench exchanged words with Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry regarding the editorial written by his junior.
Justice Shinde said that if Chaudhry or his associate advocate felt that they would succeed in matters by writing articles in the newspapers, it was not right.
"If you don't have faith in the system, why approach the court?"
Vehemently defending his junior's actions, Chaudhry said that neither he nor his junior had represented Swamy. And he would continue to write and also seek relief from the court.
"If I am writing articles while arguing the same matter, then I or anyone from my chamber will rightly stand rebuked," he said, adding that the courts can be criticised for their decisions.
In response, Justice Shinde said he was not against freedom of speech and expression, but Swamy's bail plea was sub-judice. Moreover, the advocate may not have represented Father Swamy, but most of the Bhima Koregaon - Elgar Parishad Case matters are on a similar footing.
Justice Shinde pointed out that Chaudhry and his junior were appearing for three other accused in the case, and it was not right to have commented on a sub-judice matter.
Justice Shinde added there was a discussion on the editorial, and someone brought it to his attention.
"At the cost of repetition, I don't read news reports because of lack of time. But in this case, there was a discussion. Why come before us if you don't have faith in us? So many matters regarding freedom of speech and expression, which we have heard and allowed. Keep faith in us and in the system. We are here to do justice, unafraid of anyone."
Chaudhry was quick to add, "It is only because we have faith in the court that we come to the court. But sometimes, the court lets down the faith we have in it."
Justice Shinde reminded Chaudhry how his court had granted appropriate relief to Dr Varavara Rao. Rao is on interim medical bail following an order passed by a bench led by Justice Shinde.
Father Stan Swamy
The advocate wrote the editorial in question after Father Stan Swamy's interim bail plea was partially heard by another vacation bench of the Bombay High Court.
During the hearing, father Swamy had pleaded with the bench led by Justice SJ Kathawalla that he should be released on interim bail while refusing hospitalisation.
"I would rather suffer, possibly die very shortly if this were to go on. Whatever happens to me, I would like to be with my own,"
When the court didn't seem inclined, Swamy's lawyer's sought time to convince him to get hospitalised.
The following week his lawyers moved the court. The matter was taken up by a bench led by Justice Shinde on May 28, and they directed the State to transfer Father Swamy to a private hospital for 15 days. Father Swamy has since tested positive for the virus and is being treated in the hospital.
The Bombay High Court had directed Delhi University Associate Professor Hany Babu, who was covid -19 positive, to be shifted to Breach Candy hospital last month. Justice SJ Kathawalla, led bench said there was nothing wrong if he was admitted to a hospital of his choice since certain facilities were lacking in the government hospital.
The court passed the order on an interim bail application by his wife Jenny Rowena.
On Thursday, Chaudhry said that Babu may be discharged in accordance with the Breach Candy doctor's medical advice. However, he may be kept under house arrest. He added that while Babu may not need hospitalisation, he was not completely fit.
Justice Shinde initially refused, saying they couldn't block a hospital bed when the doctors said he was fit for discharge. Moreover, there were serious charges levelled against him under the UAPA Act, and they would pass an order after hearing the parties.
The court suggested Babu be admitted to the prison ward at JJ Hospital. After this, the war of words between the bar and the bench ensued.
Finally, the bench continued Babu's relief till June 15. The court said he can continue to remain in the private facility till his matter is heard on June 15.
The court also asked the hospital authorities to file a fresh report by June 14.
Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad Case
Hany Babu and Father Stan were arrested on October 8, 2020 and July 28 2020, by the National Investigation Agency, respectively. They are charged under various sections of the IPC and offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly furthering the cause of banned CPI (Maoist) through various civil rights organizations.
They are facing charges along with 14 other human rights activists.