New Delhi: The Delhi High Court transferred the investigation into the alleged murder of Tihar inmate Ankit Gujjar to the CBI on Wednesday. Justice Mukta Gupta directed that the case file be sent from the Delhi Police to the CBI and sought a status report from the central agency before the next date of hearing on October 28.
The judge stated that she has passed directions to the Director-General of Prisons with respect to "the laxity in providing proper treatment" and facilitating police probe. A Detailed copy of the order is awaited.
Gujjar, 29, was found dead inside his cell in Tihar jail on August 4.
In the petition seeking transfer of investigation from the Delhi police, the family of the deceased inmate alleged that Gujjar was being harassed by jail officials as he was "unable to meet their regularly increasing demands for money" and was murdered "as a part of pre-planned conspiracy".
Filed through lawyers Mehmood Pracha and Shariq Nisar, the petition alleged that the jail authorities in Tihar were operating an "organised extortion syndicate" and the police was trying to manipulate the investigation in order to save and shield the culprits.
It claimed "culpability of the entire administration" on the grounds that the CCTV were allegedly ordered to be shut down by an official at the time of when the deceased was beaten.
The Delhi High Court on September 2 had said that injuries sustained by him clearly show it was a case of custodial torture.
On August 18, the court had sought status reports from the Delhi Police and jail authorities on the plea. The Delhi Police claimed that the investigation by local police was ongoing in a fair manner.
The DG (Prisons) in a report told the court that Gujjar was facing trial in 13 cases, as per a report by Indian Express. On August 3, the DG said that Gujjar and two other inmates engaged in a scuffle with Deputy Superintendent Narender Meena after a mobile phone, a cable and one hand-made knife were “recovered” from his cell and they were told to shift to another ward. The CCTV cameras in the area were shut on the day of the incident due to a technical problem, the court was told in the report.
However, Delhi Police in its report told the court that an eyewitness told them that Meena had turned off CCTV cameras and called more staff “with 50-60 danda” to beat the inmates, including Gujjar.
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