The Delhi High Court has directed the Tihar Jail authorities to conduct a “fair” probe and get 47 inmates, who have alleged they were mercilessly beaten up by security personnel inside the prison, medically examined. A bench of justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar said as a large number of inmates were to be medically examined, they should be taken to three city hospitals — AIIMS, Safdarjung and LNJP. It also questioned the jail authorities on the non-functioning of CCTV cameras near the place of the alleged incident.
The bench asked the Tihar’s Director General (Prison) to give details on “when it was detected that the CCTV cameras were not working? If they were not working, since when? Whether any complaint for repair was made? If yes, then when?” “We direct the Superintendent (head quarters) to complete the inquiry within three weeks. The report of the inquiry shall be filed in this court in a sealed cover. We expect the Superintendent (head quarters) to conduct the inquiry in a fair manner,” the bench said in its order.
The court was informed by Delhi Police that on September 14, an FIR has been lodged at Hari Nagar Police Station in the capital alleging that the prisoners belonging to two groups were involved in a scuffle. The FIR said some prisoners allegedly attacked jail officials and obstructed them from performing their duties, after which “minimum force” was used on the alleged violators. It said 13 personnel, including jail staff and Tamil Nadu Special Police, were medically examined which revealed their injuries were simple in nature.
The matter reached the high court when the counsel for an undertrial, Jamal, who was lodged in Tihar jail number 3 and facing trial in 11 cases, claimed that his client was not being produced in the lower court despite a direction. Advocate Mehmood Pracha, who was arguing for Jamal, alleged that the undertrial was “mercilessly beaten” and no medical aid was provided to them, leading to the violation of their human rights. He also said that Jamal was suffering from a head injury after which the court directed that the undertrial be examined by any government hospital, apart from DDU hospital, which had a neurology department.
The police, in its status report filed through standing counsel Rahul Mehra, has said that on September 12, Jamal was admitted to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital with an alleged history of drug overdose and vomiting. On September 13, he inflicted injury to himself at the control room, it claimed while denying that the accused was beaten up.