27 Jan 2022 2:51 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the jail authorities to provide adequate protection to a co accused with inmate Ankit Gujjar, a 29-year old gangster, who was found dead inside Tihar Jail last year. The co accused is presently lodged inside the Tihar Jail premises undergoing judicial custody, Justice Anu Malhotra was hearing a petition filed by the co accused and his wife...
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the jail authorities to provide adequate protection to a co accused with inmate Ankit Gujjar, a 29-year old gangster, who was found dead inside Tihar Jail last year. The co accused is presently lodged inside the Tihar Jail premises undergoing judicial custody,
Justice Anu Malhotra was hearing a petition filed by the co accused and his wife seeking directions to restrain the jail officials from threatening or coercing or extorting them in connection with the case.
While the Court directed the police to provide adequate protection to the wife also, the matter was directed to be placed before Justice Mukta Gupta on March 4 who is presently seized of dealing with the custodial death case being probed by the CBI.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha appearing for the petitioners submitted that in view of the extortion racket being run in the jail, petitioners were gravely suffering as they were facing extortion by jail officials. He submitted that the petitioners were being harassed to influence Gujjar's family to withdraw their complaint regarding his death and allegations of extortion.
It was submitted on behalf of the CBI that the said aspect of extortion racket was being investigated by the probe agency.
On the other hand, Additional Standing Counsel appearing for the State did not oppose to the prayer of providing adequate security and protection to the petitioners.
About the Case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had last month informed the Court that it had examined 60 witnesses so far in connection with the alleged murder of inmate Ankit Gujjar inside Tihar jail.
"Examined 60 Witnesses, Investigation Likely To Reach A Substantial Stage In One Month": CBI Tells Delhi HC In Ankit Gujjar Death Case Inside Tihar Jail
The case related to Ankit Gujjar, a 29 year old Tihar Jail inmate who was allegedly murder inside the jail premises.
Earlier, the Court had transferred the probe in this matter from Delhi Police to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Previously, the Director-General of Prisons had informed the Court that 6,944 new CCTV cameras have been installed in the Delhi prisons to prevent any mishap or violence inside jails. It was also stated that all Jail Superintendents have been issued a circular suggesting remedial measures to be followed in case of any violence, etc.
The plea moved by Ankit's mother, sister and brother through Advocates Mehmood Pracha and Shariq Nisar, alleged that Ankit was being harassed by jail officials and was in fact murdered as a part of a pre-planned conspiracy.
Ankit Gujjar was found dead inside Tihar Jail on August 4. He was lodged in Central Jail No. 3. Four officials were also suspended by the DGP in connection with the incident, including Deputy Superintendent, two Assistant Superintendents and one Warden.
While transferring the probe to CBI, the Court said "Walls of prison, howsoever high they may be, the foundation of a prison is laid on the Rule of Law ensuring the rights to its inmates enshrined in the Constitution of India."
The Court was of the view that the case called for immediate remedial actions by the State and Director General, Prison so that 'unscrupulous officers at the Jail do not take advantage of knowledge of the non-working of the CCTVs so that they can get away by doing any illegal act/offences.'
"Further, even when Ankit got injured and was alive, in case proper medical treatment was provided to him, his life could have been saved and thus an investigation not only as to who all committed the offence of brutally beating the deceased Ankit resulting in his death has to be carried out, but the role of jail doctors in not providing proper treatment at the right time is also required to be ascertained by a proper inquiry," the Court had noted.
Furthermore, it added:
"Moreover, necessary rules and regulations so that the police is not denied entry in the jail to conduct an enquiry/investigation into the commission of a cognizable offence are also required to be made."
Title: KRISHNA AND ANR v. STATE & ORS