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Don't violate jail inmates human rights during surprise searches: HC


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has directed the AAP government and prison authorities to ensure that rights, especially human rights, of inmates are not violated during surprise searches in jail wards.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar ordered the Delhi government and prison authorities to "strictly follow" the prison rules and standard operating procedures during such searches of jails, including the high security wards.
The directions came while disposing off a PIL initiated by the court on its own after receiving a joint letter, by around 15 inmates from the high risk ward of Central Jail 8 of Tihar Jail, alleging that the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP), which takes care of the prison security, was violating human rights.
In the letter, they had specifically accused a TSP sub-inspector of inciting other prisoners to assault Muslim inmates lodged in the ward.
The Jail Superintendent, thereafter, had carried out an inquiry and submitted a report which stated that a surprise search was carried out by the TSP, as per the standard operating procedure, in the high security ward at Tihar Jail and force was used to control the reaction of the inmates when prohibited articles were seized.
The report further stated that during the process, some inmates were injured and necessary medical treatment was provided to them immediately.
Taking note of the findings in the report, the bench observed that nothing more was required to be done in the matter as whenever surprise searches are carried out in jail wards and any prohibited item is seized, such reactions by the prisoners are expected.
"We are satisfied by the work done by the respondents (Delhi government and prison authorities) in accordance with law. Hence, we see no reason to further monitor the case and the same is disposed of.
"Nonetheless, we hereby direct the respondents that whenever any such surprise search is carried out in the wards of the jails including high security wards, they shall strictly follow the Prison Rules, 2018 and the standard operating procedure or the circulars issued by the respondents. It is the duty of the respondents that the rights of the jail inmates are not to be violated much less their human rights," the court said.

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First Published: Dec 30 2019 | 5:55 PM IST

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