CBI to probe gangster Ankit Gujjar’s death, orders Delhi HC; pulls up Tihar Jail admin over ‘laxity’

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Updated: September 08, 2021 12:45 PM

The court directed that the case file be sent from the Delhi Police to the CBI and sought a status report from the central agency before the next date of hearing on October 28.

The court directed that the case file be sent from the Delhi Police to the CBI and sought a status report from the central agency before the next date of hearing on October 28.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the probe into the death of 29-year-old gangster Ankit Gujjar, who was murdered inside Tihar Jail last month. 

Justice Mukta Gupta directed that the case file be sent from the Delhi Police to the CBI and sought a status report from the central agency before the next date of hearing on October 28. The judge stated that she has passed directions to the Director-General of Prisons with respect to the laxity in providing proper treatment and facilitating police probe. 

“Walls of prison, howsoever high they may be, the foundation of a prison is laid on the Rule of Law ensuring the rights to its inmates enshrined in the Constitution of India,” said Justice Mukta Gupta in an order in the petition filed by Gujjar’s family for transfer of probe to CBI from Delhi Police.

In the petition seeking transfer of investigation from the Delhi police, the family of the deceased inmate 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 a part of pre-planned conspiracy”.

Filed through lawyers Mehmood Pracha and Shariq Nisar, the petition alleged that the jail authorities in Tihar were operating an “organised extortion syndicate” and the police was trying to manipulate the investigation in order to save and shield the culprits. It claimed “culpability of the entire administration” on the grounds that the CCTV were allegedly ordered to be shut down by an official at the time of when the deceased was beaten.

Four prison officials including Deputy Superintendent Narender Meena, Assistant Superintendents Deepak Dabas and Balraj, and Warder Shiva have been suspended after the incident. The police had also registered an FIR to probe the allegations.

On August 18, the court had sought status reports from the Delhi Police and jail authorities on the plea. The Delhi Police claimed that the investigation by local police was ongoing in a fair manner.

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