NHRC has asked Delhi government to pay
Rs 3 lakh as compensation for the custodial death of an undertrial who was booked under the Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. According to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),the prisoner had died due to negligence of Tihar jail staff members,who didnt provide timely treatment and regular follow-ups.
The undertrial,Sanjay,died on April 22,2007. He was sent to Tihar jail on March 13,2007 in a case registered against him at Seelampur police station under Sections 27/61/85 of the NDPS Act. According to the NHRC order,in the three days preceding his death,Sanjay was shuttled between four hospitals. He was brought to the doctors at the jail by inmates on April 19 with complaints of general weakness and appetite loss. Upon finding that his vitals werent stable,he was referred to the emergency room of Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital. But he was sent back due to a strike at the hospital.
Sanjay was then sent to AIIMS emergency ward,from where he was discharged in the evening. Since his vitals were still unstable,he was again referred to the Cental Jail Hospital and from there to RML Hospital,where he was admitted. He died around 3 am on April 22.
According to the analysis of the death summary,the cause of death was found to be multiple organ disorder (failure) including pulmonary tuberculosis and cardiac pathology (myocardial infraction). But the NHRC found that this cause of death was not congruent with the tests blood,X-ray and sputum conducted by the Central Jail Hospital. The report of sputum and blood tests available on record show a normal report,no tuberculosis has been reported, the NHRC order reads.
Following this,the NHRC had the medical treatment record analysed by a forensic expert on the commissions panel. According to this report,the symptoms and progression of disease pointed towards withdrawal syndrome and its complications and that Sanjay should have been treated for de-addiction for a longer period and monitored accordingly,in order to completely detoxify him.
The NHRC said,There was negligence on the part of the jail administration in providing him timely treatment,regular follow-ups and delay in referral… these lapses led to (his) death.
The DG (Prisons) Delhi sent a reply to the NHRC,claiming that regular and timely treatment was given to Sanjay. But the Commission found the explanation to be insufficient and recommended that the government of NCT pay a sum of Rs 3 lakh as relief to his next of kin in June.