The Delhi High Court has directed senior officials at Tihar Jail to conduct an inquiry and medically examine 47 inmates, who have alleged “human rights violations” inside jail premises and also claimed that they were “mercilessly beaten” by security personnel. The court has also asked Tihar authorities to explain why CCTV cameras were not functioning during the incident.
The order, passed by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, comes after Delhi Police registered an FIR alleging that prisoners from two groups were involved in a scuffle on September 14. According to the FIR, “some prisoners” allegedly attacked jail officials, following which “minimum force was used on the prisoners”.
Following the assault, police conducted medical exam of 13 personnel, which revealed their injuries were “simple in nature”.
The bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar has now directed Superintendent (Headquarters) to complete the inquiry into the incident within three weeks. “We direct the DG (Prison) to ensure that the 47 inmates are examined at AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital and LNJP Hospital. Medical examination will be conducted between today and tomorrow positively… The report shall be filed in this court. We expect the Superintendent (HQ) to conduct the inquiry in a fair manner,” court said.
An undertrial, Jamal, lodged in Tihar jail number 3 and facing trial in 11 cases, had moved the HC alleging that he was “administered poison by authorities” and “beaten mercilessly”.
However, the Delhi Police, replying to the writ petition, filed a status report before the court stating that Jamal was, on September 12, admitted to Deen Dayal Hospital with an alleged history of “drug overdose and vomiting”. On September 13, he “inflicted self injury” at the control room, police claimed. “It is vehemently denied that the accused was beaten up. He sustained injuries during the clash of two rival groups on September 14… He also instigated fellow prisoners for creating violence,” police told the court.
Police said that on September 14, two rival groups “started assaulting each other”. Police said the “prison staff…tried to segregate prisoners… However, prisoners started abusing and manhandling them”. “Quick response team was called… to control the situation. To overpower assailant prisoners, minimum force was required to be used,” police said.