Delhi HC transfers undertrial prisoner Ankit Gujjar's death case probe to CBI

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday transferred probe into undertrial prisoner Ankit Gujjar's death case in Tihar jail to CBI and directed the investigation agency to file a status report after carrying out an investigation.

"Consequently, this Court deems it fit to transfer the investigation of case FIR No.451/2021 under Sections 302/323/341/34 IPC registered at PS Hari Nagar, Delhi to CBI. The case file be transferred to CBI immediately by the concerned police station. A status report will be filed by the concerned SP, CBI after carrying out an investigation before this Court well before the next date of hearing, " Justice Mukta Gupta said.

Justice Gupta said, "Further, even when Ankit got injured and was alive, in case proper medical treatment was provided to him, his life could have been saved and thus an investigation not only as to who all committed the offence of brutally beating the deceased Ankit resulting in his death has to be carried out, but the role of jail doctors in not providing proper treatment at the right time is also required to be ascertained by a proper inquiry. "

The court also said that this case also calls for immediate remedial actions by the State and Director General, Prison so that unscrupulous officers at the Jail do not take advantage of the knowledge of the non-working of the CCTVs so that they can get away by doing any illegal act/offences.

Therefore the court also asked Director General (Prisons) to file a status report indicating the measures taken to streamline the system as regards the CCTV cameras at the Jail and when the same are not working what alternative measures can be taken in the meantime, accountability of the Jail officers and Jail doctors and the mechanism by which immediate entry is provided to

the police to the Jail on receipt of information of a cognizable offence and the remedial steps taken thereon.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 28.

As the court also observed from the present petition, that the bank statement of one of the petitioners from where money has been transferred to various accounts, which according to the petitioners are associates or known persons of a jail official, the court said it requires in-depth investigation to unearth the manner in which alleged extortion is carried out in the prison.

"Though SHO, PS Hari Nagar states that CAF details of the phone numbers to which the

money had been transferred have been obtained and are being examined, it is evident that in case the allegations made by the petitioners are correct, it is a very serious offence which requires in-depth investigation to unearth the manner in which alleged extortion is carried out in the prison, " the court noted in its order.

As per the status report filed by the Director-General of Prisons an in-house inquiry was conducted by the DIG which found the complicity of one Deputy Superintendent, two Assistant Superintendents and a Warder who have been suspended.

The court observed that as per the post-mortem report of the deceased Ankit, it is evident that the deceased was brutally beaten and left unattended as the case of Jail administration itself is that at around 1.00 am on the intervening night of August 3/4, 2021 Ankit complained of body ache upon which the duty doctor and nursing staff gave him pain killer injection and he refused any further treatment. The court also noted that the Jail doctor on duty also failed to perform his duty when he examined Ankit at 1.00 am at night and administered the injection, as he neither informed the senior officers of the condition of Ankit nor referred Ankit to the hospital.

"It is unfathomable that when the Jail doctor on duty visited at the midnight, he did not see the multiple injuries on Ankit, " the court noted.

The Court has earlier noted that injuries sustained by inmate Ankit Gujjar clearly indicate a case of custodial violence.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by the family member of the deceased seeking direction to CBI to take over the investigation in the matter and to provide adequate round the clock security to petitioners.

According to the petition Ankit Gujjar (deceased), who was lodged in Central Jail No.3 of the Tihar Prisons Complex as an Under-Trial Prisoner, was brutally murdered in cold blood by

Jail officials on the intervening night of August 3 and August 4. Gujjar's mother, elder brother and younger sister said that they are filing complaints with Delhi Police, but to no avail and said that the police is presently trying to manipulate the investigation with a view to save and shield the culprits despite there being direct ocular evidence of their involvement. The same is clearly established from the manner in which they have dealt with the case, the petitioners said.

The petitioner submitted that though the FIR registered pursuant to the directions of the magistrate has invoked merely Sections 302/34 of the IPC, yet, a free and fair investigation by a neutral investigation agency would inevitably lead to the invocation of not just further provisions under the Penal Code, but also under special laws such as the MCOCA, Prevention of Corruption Act and PMLA.

The petitioner alleged that the deceased was long being harassed by jail officials as he was unable to meet the regularly increasing demands for money being made by them. (ANI)

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