Ankit Gujjar, 29, was found dead inside his cell in Tihar Jail on August 4.
The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought status reports from the police and jail authorities on a plea concerning the alleged murder of an inmate Ankit Gujjar in Tihar Jail earlier this month. Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to Delhi Police, the jail authority, the Centre and CBI on the petition by Gujjar’s family members and ordered the preservation of CCTV footage of the time of the incident as well as before and after.
The petition seeks the transfer of the investigation from Delhi Police to the CBI and adequate, round-the-clock-security for the family members.
Gujjar, 29, was found dead inside his cell in Tihar Jail on August 4.
In the petition filed through advocates Mehmood Pracha and Shariq Nisar, the family has alleged that Gujjar was being harassed by the jail officials as he was ‘unable to meet their regularly increasing demands for money’ and was murdered ‘as a part of pre-planned conspiracy’.
It is said that the deceased inmate ‘faced much more brutality’ at the hands of a jail official who ‘directed his subordinates to use all their might at him to finish him and make an example out of him for other inmates’.
“The brutality meted out to the deceased as evidenced from the photographs of his corpse, coupled with the fact that he was left to die in a solitary cell without any medical attention whatsoever, renders to the present case a colour of the rarest of rare category,” the petition reads.
The plea has further submitted that the jail authorities in Tihar are operating an ‘organised extortion syndicate’ and the police was trying to manipulate the investigation in order to save and shield the culprits.
The petition states that although an FIR for commission of offences of murder was registered pursuant to the directions of a magisterial court, ‘a free and fair investigation by a neutral investigation agency would inevitably lead to invocation of not just further provisions under the Penal Code but also under special laws such as the MCOCA, Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act’.
The plea alleges ‘culpability of the entire administration’ on the ground that the CCTV were ordered to be shut down by an official at the time of when the deceased was beaten. The matter would be heard next in September.