Updated: August 27, 2021 2:46:50 am
Acting on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) report that said that the jailed former promoters of the real estate group Unitech Ltd, Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, were having a free run of Tihar and flouting the jail manual in connivance with officials, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed that the two men be separated and moved to Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai and Taloja Central Jail in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah tore into authorities at the capital’s Tihar jail for alleged connivance with the two accused. The bench said it had lost faith in Tihar authorities, and slammed the conduct of the jail superintendent as “shameless”.
“The Tihar Jail authorities have acted absolutely in connivance with them. We have lost faith in the Tihar jail authorities. They are sitting in the capital city and enforcing the orders of the Supreme Court and all this is happening under their nose. Absolutely shameless of the Superintendent of the Tihar Jail, is all we want to say”, Justice Chandrachud said, mincing no words.
The court asked why the Delhi Police Commissioner had not acted on the concerns raised by the ED about some of the jail staff in a communication on August 16.
“The Commissioner should have immediately started the inquiry…it was his duty also as the head of the department… He should not have waited for even a single day if these allegations are found to be true”, Justice Shah said.
The court directed the Commissioner to personally investigate the matter and submit a report in four weeks.
The activities that have come to light “undermine the authority of the Court and will derail the investigation which has been ordered by the Directorate of Enforcement”, the court said. “In the circumstances, we order and direct that both the accused, Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, be shifted from Tihar Central Jail to the premises of Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai and Taloja Central Jail, Mumbai, respectively”.
The bench asked the Supreme Court Registrar (Judicial) to forward its order to the DGP, Maharashtra so that arrangements could be made immediately for housing the accused.
Tihar jail authorities declined to comment on the court’s orders.
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