NEW DELHI: Observing that custodial violence on prisoners was a serious issue on which courts should have zero tolerance, a Delhi court has pulled up jail authorities for allegedly concealing an assault incident on an undertrial prisoner purportedly by the prison staff.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said when the undertrial was produced before her from the jail in a case pending against him, the court noticed his physical condition and the assault incident came to light.
The court ordered an inquiry in the incident in accordance with the law and forwarded the complaint of undertrial Sanjay, facing trial in a dacoity case, against jail officials and other prisoners to the chief metropolitan magistrate who has directed that an FIR be registered in the case.
Following magisterial court's order, an FIR was registered against constable Praveen and Durga (head wardens) and undertrials Vinod, Sunny and Veeru for allegedly subjecting Sanjay to custodial violence and causing injuries to him.
FIR was lodged under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 34 (common intention) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. When Sanjay, lodged in jail number 3 of Tihar Jail, was produced before the judge, the court noticed that his left hand was fractured, there were stitches on his left leg, swelling in both legs and bruises and scratches on his entire back.
The court directed the jail superintendent to preserve all the CCTV footages of September 14 and 15 and also the relevant records relating to duty roasters of the jail staff.
"I may observe that custodial violence in any form is a serious issue and and the courts are required to exhibit zero tolerance for the same being violative of human rights as well as the statutory rights of a person in custody.
"It is surprising that the jail authorities have not been bothered to bring the incident to the notice of this court and it is only that when the accused has been produced before this court on July 16 that this court had noticed his physical condition... The manner in which the incident has been concealed raises a doubt in the mind of the court," the judge said.
The court, in its order, said if the allegations made by Sanjay were correct then it was a serious offence.
Sanjay submitted before the court that despite his pleas to the jail administration, he has not been heard and there was an attempt to protect the erring officials.
Meanwhile, court has also forwarded to chief metropolitan magistrate another complaint of undertrial Anil, who is facing trial in a murder case, that he was beaten up in jail by two prisoners at the instance of Deputy Superintendent Jitender Bhargav.
He alleged that jail official wanted to extort Rs 30,000 from him and when he refused, he was beaten up. On being produced before the court, it was noticed that there were injuries on his head and strangulation marks on neck. Anil was also lodged in jail number 3, Tihar Jail.