The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Tihar Jail authorities to file a status report on the measures they have taken to ensure safety and security of the witnesses in the alleged murder of inmate Ankit Gujjar, reported Bar and Bench.
Gujjar, 29, was found dead inside his cell in Tihar Jail on August 4. He was allegedly involved in a brawl with senior jail official Narender Meena due to the prison authorities’ decision to move him to another cell.
After the incident, Meena and other prison officials had allegedly beaten up Gujjar and two of his fellow inmates with sticks.
Gujjar had been arrested in 2015 in connection with the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijay Pandit in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri district.
On September 8, the High Court had transferred the inquiry into Gujjar’s death from the Delhi Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation on a petition filed by his family. The plea alleged that Gujjar was murdered as part of a conspiracy and that jail officials had been harassing him as he had been unable to meet their increasing demands for money.
During Monday’s hearing, Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing a petition filed by the witnesses – all inmates of the prison – who had approached the High Court seeking protection in the case. Of the five, three are currently lodged in the jail and were allegedly beaten up along with Gujjar. Two others are out on bail till September 24, reported PTI.
The two prisoners out on bail had told Gujjar’s family that he was beaten up by the jail authorities, according to Live Law.
Justice Gupta took note of the statement made by witnesses that they were allegedly being pressured to change their stance in the case.
The High Court directed the Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel to keep the witnesses where CCTV camera are installed so that their movement is monitored. It said that since two of the inmates sustained injuries with Gujjar, the status report should include their medico-legal cases.
The term refers to the decision of a doctor, who has conducted a clinical examination of a patient, to register a case in the matter on incidents such as injury or illness that law enforcement agencies should investigate, according to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal.
Meanwhile, counsel Rajesh Kumar, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation, told the High Court that the agency has registered a first information report to look into the death of Gujjar.