February 24, 2021 11:47:24 pm
Expressing shock at an undertrial’s murder inside the Tihar Jail in November last year, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the prison authorities to apprise it on whether an FIR has been registered in the incident as well as the status of the investigation.
Dilsher Azad (23) was attacked with knives and a blade by other inmates on November 30 inside Tihar Jail number 3. He was declared brought dead later by a doctor at the jail dispensary. The police had registered a case against three prisoners in this regard. Azad’s father Ali Sher filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission last year alleging that he had come to know that those behind his son’s murder had consumed smack and other intoxicants.
The court on Wednesday also asked the authorities whether the CCTV footage of the particular jail cell where the victim was lodged has been recovered and preserved. The government and the prison authorities have been asked to file a status report before March 5, the next date of hearing.
Calling the incident a serious matter, Justice Pratibha M. Singh asked the authorities to inform the bench whether any charge sheet has been filed and if so, what stage is the case now at. “We only see this in fiction,” observed Justice Singh, adding, “on the day he passed away, the CCTV footage should have been confiscated”.
The court also observed that the Tihar Jail authorities preserve the footage for a very small period. “We need to increase it. Nowadays there are cloud servers and there should be no problem in digitally maintaining them,” the court observed.
Its response came on a hearing on a petition filed by the victim’s father, seeking compensation of Rs 5 crores for his son’s custodial death. Azad was in prison since September 19, 2020, as per the FIR registered at Prashant Vihar police station. Sher’s counsel told the court on Wednesday that a magisterial inquiry was ordered in the case but he is not aware about any further action in the matter.
“The manner in which sharp weapons, used to murder the petitioner’s son, made their way to the cells makes it apparently clear that a section of jail officials had a role not only in the security breach but also in the eventual killing,” the petition read.
The court also directed the police to keep the victim’s father and his lawyer posted on the status of the investigation into his son’s murder as well as court proceedings, if any.
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