A SPECIAL court has directed a magisterial inquiry into allegations of custodial violence against Malegaon 2006 blast accused Manohar Narwaria by officials of Arthur Road jail. On December 7, Narwaria was produced before special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court Judge V V Patil with both his hands fractured. The judge recorded Narwaria’s statement, where he named three jail officials and one prison guard as having assaulted him after an altercation on the jail premises.
On Wednesday, Judge Patil directed the Metropolitan Magistrate, 13th court, Bhoiwada, to conduct a detailed investigation based on Narwaria’s statement against jail officials A S Pansare, H S Minta, Sachin Zinzurde and guard Shivaji Devkar, and to pass appropriate orders. The court has directed all case papers to be sent to the magistrate court for the inquiry.
On December 5, advocate Prashant Maggu, counsel for Narwaria, filed an application in the court, submitting that his client had been assaulted at Arthur Road jail and sought for him to be sent for medical examination. The court ordered Narwaria to be produced before court on the next day for recording his statement. Though he was not brought from prison, Narwaria’s lawyers pleaded for him to be produced through a video link. On seeing that accused had severe injuries on his body, the court directed Narwaria to be brought before it immediately. In his statement in the in-camera proceedings before the court, Narwaria said that he had been beaten. The special court referred the case to the principal judge, who directed the court to take further action.
The court had also directed the medical officer of JJ hospital to submit a detailed report.
In an order passed by Special Judge Patil on Tuesday, the court said that officers had simply submitted the originals of the case record without examining the accused.
The court has directed that a notice be issued against the officer under Section 345 of the Criminal Procedure Code, calling for an explanation as to why he should not be punished for commission of an offence under Section 175 (omission to produce document, etc to public servant by person legally bound to produce it) of the Indian Penal Code.
Last week, Narwaria had been taken to JJ Hospital for treatment as per the court’s direction. Advocate Maggu said that Narwaria has now been shifted to Taloja jail.
Narwaria and Dhan Singh, two of the accused in the Malegaon 2006 blast, are lodged at Arthur Road jail. Two others, Rajendra Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma, are undergoing trial in Ambala. The court is yet to frame charges in the case.