| New Delhi |
Published: June 30, 2020 6:08:22 am
Tihar Jail authorities Monday admitted before the Delhi High Court that it is â€œtrueâ€ an â€œuntowardâ€ incident happened inside the prison on June 16, after 15-20 foreign inmates created problems over a demand for grant of interim bail.
The averments were made in a status report filed before Justice C Hari Shankar, who had sought to know the stand of jail authorities on Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwalâ€™s allegation that owing to â€œlarge-scale violenceâ€ in Tihar, inmates were being prohibited from getting in touch with family members via video conferencing. Narwal is in jail in connection with the anti-CAA Jafrabad sit-in protest.
â€œThe foreign inmatesâ€¦ have been agitating for some time demanding that they should also be considered forâ€¦interim bail. Jail authorities have been consistently counselling and briefing them that their cases do not fall under the prescribed criteria for consideration for grant of bailâ€¦
â€œâ€¦ on June 16 morning, 15-20 foreign inmates created problems in the jail. They forced their way out of the ward and also damaged the locks of gates of wards No. 9 and Chakkar. Sensing trouble and having no other alternative, an alarm was sounded in the jail around 8.30 am, reinforcements were called and these inmates were physically controlled by minimum use of forceâ€¦,â€ the status report filed on Monday read.
It further stated that â€œto curb the movement of inmates and their gathering, telephone facility of inmates was temporally restricted for a few days with effect from June 16 to June 23, though it was allowed wherever found urgentâ€. The court was informed that telephone facility has been restored since June 24.
Delhi governmentâ€™s Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra, during the hearing on June 24, had denied Narwalâ€™s counsel Adit S Pujariâ€™s contention, and had submitted that he has â€œinstructions to the contrary from no less than Director General (Prisons)â€.
Pujari had mentioned the violence inside jail number 6 during the hearing of Narwalâ€™s plea on June 24, seeking daily access to her lawyer via video conferencing and to carry books and reading material in prison.
Mehra, assisted by advocate Chaitanya Gosain, filed the status report apprising that â€œ13 books and 2 registers have been provided to herâ€. â€œThat with regard to the phone calls made by the petitioner (Narwal) herein, it is submitted that the petitioner availed facility of calling her family on telephone eight times so far,â€ the court was told.
Narwalâ€™s counsel argued that as per Delhi Prison Rules, every interview between an undertrial prisoner and his legal adviser shall take place within sight, but out of hearing, of a prison official.
Pujari submitted that the petitioner needs more books and extended video conferencing time of 30 minutes, twice a week.
The status report said that â€œin reference to submission made by the counsel for the petitioner, it is true that an untoward incident happened on June 16, 2020 at Central Jail No. 6, Tiharâ€.
It also said the Delhi Prisons has started the facility of â€œvideo conferencing of prisoners with visiting panel advocates of the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee recently, with effect from June 22, for legal aid to prisoners in respect to their cases in Delhi High Courtâ€.
Tihar inmate killed in attack
New Delhi: A 27-year-old man was allegedly stabbed to death inside Tihar Jail No 8 by another inmate Monday. DG (Delhi Prisons) Sandeep Goel said, â€œAn inmate, Zakir (21), attacked Mehtab with a sharp metal object which he picked up from a broken window grillâ€¦ Mehtab was stabbed five to six times and sustained injuries on his stomach and neck.â€ He said the accused and the victim knew each other before their convictions. â€œThe accused said the attack was the result of an old rivalry,â€ said Goel.
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