The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has informed the Delhi High Court that the investigation into the alleged killing of an undertrial prisoner by jail officers inside the Tihar Jail is ongoing and that a detailed status report will be filed by the agency after further investigation.
Justice Mukta Gupta, who listed the matter for further hearing on December 17, perused the status report filed by CBI which was submitted in a sealed cover.
The Court noted that the Deputy Superintendent was not on duty at the relevant time when the alleged incident took place.
The deceased was in judicial custody since June 13, 2019 lodged in the Tihar Jail. He was declared dead on 14th May 2021 after he was taken to Safdarjung Hospital. An FIR was therefore registered under Section 302 and 34 of IPC.
As per the report submitted on behalf of Jail Superintendent, four undertrial prisoners were beating the deceased with a cricket bat, as a result of which one of the inmates and deceased sustained injuries. The deceased was thereafter taken to the jail dispensary and was referred to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment wherein he was declared as dead.
According to AIIMS Medical Board, the cause of death was shock as a result of multiple external and internal injuries mentioned in the post-mortem report.
“Status report shown to this Court in sealed cover is returned back to the learned Spl.P.P. for CBI. List on 17th December, 2021,” the Court said.
The Court had transferred the probe to CBI in July after observing that an in depth investigation into the matter is required to be conducted. It had also sought a status report to be filed in the matter.
The petition was moved by mother of the deceased seeking CBI investigation and also preservation of CCTV footages of the relevant time of death.
It was the case of the petitioner that by looking at the photos and videos of the deceased body, it could be seen that deep cut wounds on his thighs and hands could not have been caused by bat injuries and only could’ve inflicted from some sharp object.
On the aspect of CCTV footages, it was submitted on behalf of Director General of Prions that old CCTVs installed inside Tihar Jail had become non-functional and thus, a mega plan of installation of the CCTVs is presently underway and that they had been installed at most of the places.
It was also submitted that out of 6967 CCTVs to be installed, more than half of the CCTVs installed were functional and rest would be made functional by 15th August 2021.
“It is thus evident that no CCTV footage of the incident is available. However, the prime issue which now concerns this Court besides the manner in which the death of the inmate has been caused, is, why no proper investigation could be carried out despite the fact that a PCR call was made from a phone number from the jail and the said phone number is duly recorded in the PCR Call,” the Court had observed.
Case Title: MALIKA v. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ORS.