An Additional Sessions Judge-ranked judicial officer, who conducted an inquiry into allegations of luxurious facilities being provided to Unitech promoters Ajay and Sanjay Chandra inside Tihar Jail, has “recommended” registration of an FIR against the Director General of Prisons.
A letter from an inmate, Asadullah Akhtar, complaining of preferential treatment to the Chandra brothers was received by the High Court, which converted it into a PIL and asked ASJ Ramesh Kumar-II to conduct an inquiry.
In his report, the ASJ said he had visited jail number 1 at 1.30 pm on September 4 and inspected the barracks of the brothers to find a 32-inch LED TV, coconut water bottles, five packets of mineral water, three jars of pickle, three bottles of mustard oil and other things.
“A badminton racquet was found in the barracks, which shows they played in Tihar as and when they desire, whereas no such facility is provided to other inmates. Inmates of adjoining barracks did not say anything, but it is presumed by the undersigned (the ASJ) that (this was) due to fear of beating by jail authorities,” the ASJ said in his report.
The report said jail authorities had provided the Chandras a room opposite the one belonging to the jail superintendent, and they had facilities of computer, printer and internet to operate their “office”.
The report mentioned that jail authorities had provided the room based on the directions of courts. “Copy of Supreme Court order was provided… (and) nothing was suggested in the judgment that the Chandras may operate their office from the room,” the ASJ wrote.
On having three packets of “Aquafina water bottles”, the report said: “Upon inquiry, Chandra brothers said they have purchased the items from canteen whereas the canteen operator said they have been receiving only Bisleri water bottles for the last month-and-a-half. (This) shows that inmates… had been allowed to get water from outside Tihar Jail, which is also not as per jail manual.”
The ASJ said “nothing can happen” without involvement of DG (Prisons) and other officials. “The facilities provided and circumstances prove it was a grave misuse of power by DG Prisons and jail authorities. Considering the facts and circumstances, I mentioned that an FIR be registered against DG (Prisons) and officials of jail number 1,” the report said. When contacted, a Tihar spokesperon said, “Facilities provided to Chandra brothers are as per Supreme Court orders. The matter is sub-judice and we will respond accordingly.”