A judicial inquiry has been sought before a Bombay High Court in India for an investigation into the death of Jesuit activist priest Stan Swamy and to remove the “odium of guilt” attached to him.
Father Swamy died on July 5 while at a Mumbai hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 and its complications.
The 84-year-old priest was the oldest of 16 people arrested by the National Investigation Agency, India’s anti-terrorism organization, in what is known as the Elgar Parishad case.
The petition before the High Court was moved by Father Frazer Mascarenhas, designated as Father Swamy’s “next of kin.”
Father Frazer was the only person allowed to meet Father Swamy when he was in the hospital. His petition says the probe would also help dispel the shadow it casts on the Jesuits in India.
Father Swamy was arrested on Oct. 8, 2020, in Bagaicha where the organization he founded for the advancement of the rights of tribal communities is based.
Father Mascarenhas’ petition said that “even prior to [Father Swamy’s] demise and also just after his demise (the court) recognized the Petitioner (Mascarenhas) as his de facto guardian…’’
On November 24, the High Court asked his lawyers to file a fresh petition to raise grievances, which Father Swamy made before his demise against observations in a lower court order.
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