Tihar Jail inmate alleges beating: Delhi HC directs inquiry

The Metropolitan Magistrate has been directed to file its report within 2 weeks of the completion of the investigation

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

The Bench of Justices J. R. Midha and A. J. Bhambhani of the Delhi High Court has ordered a summary inquiry to be conducted by a Metropolitan Magistrate into the allegations that inmates in Tihar Jail were beaten up.

The Bench said, “This Court is of the view that it would be appropriate and in the interest of justice that a summary inquiry be conducted by a Metropolitan Magistrate into the complaint of the appellant.”

The court clarified that the Principal District and Sessions Judge (Headquarters) shall nominate a Metropolitan Magistrate to conduct a summary inquiry into this complaint made by the appellant and directed that the necessary inquiry should be completed within a period of four weeks from the date of the nomination of the Judicial Officer by the Principal District and Sessions Judge.

According to LiveLaw, the appellant Mohd. Sumer has been convicted for murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for which he is presently undergoing sentence at Tihar Jail and his appeal is pending before the Delhi High Court. In the month of August, he moved Delhi High Court for interim suspension of on medical grounds. The application to that effect is presently pending consideration before the High Court.

On November 3, 2020, the appellants’ counsel Sharad Malhotra had submitted that, “the appellant was beaten up by the Jail Authorities on the night of October 28, 2020 in which the appellant suffered grievous injuries and is not being provided any treatment for the injuries.” But the Additional Public Prosecutor Aashaa Singh for the State submitted “that there was scuffle between jail inmates.” The court directed the State to file status report on the same.

In the status report, the State denied all allegations of the appellant and stated that there was an incident of infighting between the inmates and that the appellant and his other associates inflicted injuries upon themselves. However, the state conveniently failed to provide any CCTV footage due to an alleged technical glitch.

Thereafter, the court via its order dated November 5, 2020 directed the appellant to file its reply to the status report and state the allegations on affidavit. The affidavit of the appellant was prepared and filed, wherein the names of the officials of the jail/ wardens etc. were mentioned and it was also stated that they deliberately switched off the cameras every time they wanted to beat any inmate.

The content of the affidavit has been confirmed by the appellants’ counsel to LiveLaw. With the Delhi High Court’s latest order, “both the parties are permitted to assist concerned Metropolitan Magistrate in conducting the inquiry.” Also, the report of the Metropolitan Magistrate shall be filed before this Court in a sealed cover within two weeks of the conclusion of the inquiry.

The matter will now be heard on February 26, 2021 to consider the report of the Metropolitan Magistrate.

The order dated December 11, 2020 may be read here:


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