-Any under-trial who requests to go to washroom/bathroom while on way to attend any court hearing or back be allowed to use such facilities only in some police post or police station on the way.
-The police party be directed that while taking the undertrials to honourable court and back, they should not stop at any dhaba to eat food nor the undertrial be served any food given by his relatives.
These are among the set of guidelines issued by the security wing of Punjab Police to the Commissioners of Police, Senior Superintendents of Police and the Punjab jails department to check jail inmates from fleeing from custody of the police party while being taken out of jails for court hearings, medical emergencies and transfer from one jail to other.
Undertrials, among them gangsters, escaping from custody is not an uncommon thing in Punjab. To check such misadventures, the security wing of the Punjab Police has come up with novel set of guidelines that strengthen the Standard Operating Procedure followed for movement of prison inmates.
These were issued on May 27, the day an undertrial escaped from Anandpur Sahib court complex on the pretext of going to the washroom.
Issued to “further strengthen the security of the inmates” and accessed by The Indian Express, the guidelines say that police parties be directed that while on the way, the inmate/undertrial should not be made to talk to any of his relatives or acquaintances over phone. “Keeping security in mind in view of the probability of inmates escaping from custody, only in-charge of the police party be allowed to use the mobile phone and the mobile phones of the rest of the personnel should be switched off.”
The guidelines also say that “It should be ensured that personnel of the police party taking inmates to court hearings were active, agile, free from drugs and have good training of weapons”.
According to the new guidelines, any personnel from whose custody any inmate has escaped in the past should not be assigned the duty to take inmates for court hearings.
The officials have been directed to ensure that “a running route” should be used to take inmates to courts and back and “short cut and unauthorised routes should be avoided”. The driver of the vehicle should ensure “locking the vehicle while moving in crowded and secluded places” and “should immediately inform in-charge police party if any vehicles is chasing their vehicle so that the in-charge can coordinate with local police”.
Furthermore, the set of directions say that “a daily checking of the escort party and prison van be got conducted by a gazetted officer”.
“It should be kept in mind that one vehicle should not be used to send dreaded/gangster inmates out of jail,” the officials have been directed.
It has been also directed that to present dreaded inmates before court, prior approval should be obtained to present them in the court with handcuffs on and in case permission is not granted, the dreaded inmates should be presented in the court as per rules/directions.