The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Director General of Prisons to inspect Tihar Jail and ascertain if the inmates have access to medical facilities and basic amenities such as sufficient number of toilets. Taking cognizance of a November 20 report by The Indian Express, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also asked the DG Prisons to look into whether there was sufficient cleanliness in the jail. The bench noted that the prison was “hopelessly overcrowded”, with inmates claiming that there weren’t enough toilets or medical facilities.
“Our attention has been drawn to a report on page 5 of today’s (November 20) edition of The Indian Express captioned ‘Prison Blues’. Let this report be brought on record. A direction is issued to the Tihar Jail to file a report regarding several issues noted in the report. The DG prison shall also cause an inspection of the basic issues raised in the report, including the jail toilets, especially their sufficiency and cleanliness in the prisons to be conducted, and submit a report regarding the same to this court before the next date,” the court said in its order, before listing the matter for December 18.
The High Court also noted that a court in the UK had refused India’s request to extradite a suspected bookie, on the grounds that the conditions in which he would be kept in Tihar Jail would be a violation of his human rights.
The bench was hearing the petition it had initiated after several prisoners sent letters to the High Court, complaining about “inhuman conditions” and “lack of medical and employment facilities” at the newly commissioned Mandoli Jail in east Delhi. The court directed the Delhi government to file the status report within a week.