The Delhi High Court has ordered ‘fair’ probe into the allegations of 47 prisoners that their human rights were violated by the jail authorities who tortured them and beat them up mercilessly and did not care to provide any medical treatment while also barring access to their families to meet them.
A bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar has ordered the superintendent (headquarters) to conduct a fair probe into the allegations of the prisoners and submit report in three weeks.
While the State claimed it was a situation created by the inmates where they inflicted injuries on their own person and the authorities had to act to bring the “house in order”, the prisoners are crying foul. The claims have been made on paper while the CCTVs in the jail area, where the said incident is said to have happened, were not working. The prisoners say it is an excuse of the State to cover up the truth.
The court has also sought a report on whether the CCTV cameras were actually not working and if not, since when, and if any complaint was made in this regard.
The writ petition was moved by advocate Arvind Kumar, who was representing undertrial prisoner (UTP) Jamal alias Ranjha in a case registered under the Maharasthra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), that led to the court ordering a probe into the whole issue of alleged abuse of 47 prisoners.
Advocate Arvind moved the petition after his client Jamal was not produced before the sessions court in Tis Hazari on September 11. The jail authorities had said Jamal had taken drugs and had to be hospitalised.
When Arvind Kumar tried to meet Jamal, he was denied permission. His application made before sessions judge Savitri was referred to the jail administration, but was not entertained. He was simply told that Jamal is in Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital, but was again not allowed to meet.
He then moved the high court seeking his production, fearing he has been killed in the jail.
On September 19, when the petition came for hearing, senior standing counsel of Delhi government, Rahul Mehra told the court that Jamal, his two brothers and father are facing trial in the case filed under the MCOCA and were lodged in Rohini jail till March, 2012. However, due to their bad conduct, Jamal was transferred to Jail No. 3 in Tihar, while one brother Kamal was transferred to Jail Nos. 8 and 9, Tihar Jail, while the father and one of his brothers continue to remain in Rohini Jail.
Mehra highlighted that Jamal has been indulging in smuggling of drugs inside the jail and was served a punishment ticket for the same. He told the court that on September 10, he along with two other persons were found unconscious and taken to the jail doctor and then transferred to DDU Hospital.
The court was informed that Jamal created self injury on his head and also instructed others to hurt themselves.