Jail Officials Took Bribes To Provide Basic Amenities To Inmates At Delhi's Tihar Jail, Finds Inquiry Report
An inquiry report by a judicial officer has found that jail officials took bribes to provide basic amenities to inmates at Tihar Jail, such as one hour release per day from the ward or to avoid torture.
This judicial officer was asked to probe allegations of inhuman behaviour towards inmates at the jail.
According to the report, the “modus operandi” used by jail officials to collect bribes was during visits by inmates’ families. In case the families did not bring cash, they would be asked to deposit it at a bakery opposite Tihar Jail Gate No 4.
Inspecting Judge Vikas Dhull conducted the inquiry. He was tasked by the Delhi High Court PIL committee to submit a report into the allegations. This decision was taken after the court received a letter from a convict, Bhupender, in December 2018.
The jail authorities tortured prisoners “by tying them up and suspending them from an iron stand”, the convict had alleged.
A PIL has been initiated in the matter by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar on June 2, taking note of the judicial officer’s findings and the convict’s allegations.
It listed the matter for hearing on July 9 and asked the counsel for the jail to take instructions from the DG Prisons, Tihar.
The Indian Express reported that according to the report, the convict’s allegations of extortion by jail officials were “also prima facie established from statements of inmates… which were duly corroborated by an independent witness, who had himself given an amount of Rs 15,000 to a jail official…”
Claim of Tihar authorities that Bhupender — serving a life term in Jail No 3 — has levelled false allegations, was also ruled out. The Tihar authorities’ claim that there were 22 instances where he had misbehaved with jail staff, for which he was punished as per jail rules, was also ruled out.
However, the report did not find evidence regarding the allegations that the inmates of Jail No 3 were being tortured.
Dhul was also asked by the committee to look into allegations that jail officials may be involved in illegal activities. There is rampant use of tobacco, mobile phones and other prohibited items inside the prison.