Tihar Jail inmate Ankit Gujjar’s death a case of custodial violence, says Delhi high court | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Thursday observed that the nature of injuries sustained by Ankit Gujjar, who died in Tihar Jail, clearly shows that it was a case of custodial violence.
Justice Mukta Gupta, while reserving order on a plea by Gujjar’s kin seeking transfer of probe into his death to the CBI, added that the incident involved a larger issue of extortion by jail officials.
“The issue is the moment a phone is recovered (from the deceased), your (jail) officer is asking for money. It is a case that for every implication, money is extorted from the family. It is far more serious. What has happened to the deceased must have happened to others also. It is writ large that it is a case of custodial violence and who has done it is also very clear,” Justice Gupta said.
Gujjar, 29, was found dead in his cell in Tihar on August 4. His family 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 part of a pre-planned conspiracy”. On August 18, the court had sought status reports from Delhi Police and jail authorities on the plea.
Counsel for the family, advocate Mehmood Pracha, said that “police is not conducting investigation in proper format” as the DVR of the CCTV installed in the jail was yet to be recovered and the aspect of extortion by jail officials through online transactions was not being looked into.
“The status report filed before the magistrate and status report filed here say that the injury is minor. The post-mortem shows 12 grievous injuries,” he said. The prosecution maintained that it was a fair probe and said Gujjar, who was found to be in possession of a mobile phone, amongst other things, had attacked the deputy superintendent earlier in the day and, as of now, action had been initiated against certain officials.
“He (Gujjar) may have committed an offence, (but) this man (jail official) not only beats him up but gets CCTV closed… A life has been lost. Twelve injuries show it is a case of custodial torture,” the court remarked.


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