A high-security prisoner in Tihar Central Jail here earned himself another two-year prison term for verbally abusing and physically assaulting two jail officials on duty.
On a late September night in 2010, convict Krishna Murthy made an emergency medical call from his prison cell. The prison warden along with an assistant superintendent rushed to his cell but Krishna Murthy adamantly refused to budge from his cell and go to the jail dispensary for treatment and instead started hurling abuses at the prison officials. He then picked up a wooden carom broad lying nearby and threw it at the assistant superintendent. The head warden tried to intervene but he too was attacked by the prisoner. The jail authorities finally overpowered the convict and got him medical care at the dispensary.
An FIR was registered against the convict and charges were framed under sections 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code. The convict pleaded not guilty and the matter went to trial in which a total of nine witnesses gave evidence.
During the course of the trial, two prime eye-witnesses and prison inmates at the time of the incident turned hostile, the testimony of another one witnesses was termed weak as it relied on hearsay and another four witnesses confirmed things like registration of FIR and the two victims being on duty but were not witness to the incident itself.
While dismissing the defence arguments that there was no written proof that the convict had indeed made an emergency call, the judge said: “This argument for the accused has no substance because nothing has come on record that a proper record is maintained about the medical bells rung by the prisoners. Had it come on record that the record is maintained about such medical calls but despite the same the record has not been produced then an adverse inference would have been drawn against the prosecution.”
The judge further stated that the testimony of the two victims had inspired absolute confidence and that there was nothing in their cross-examination that could render their testimony as doubtful and in fact, it was their depositions that had tilted the case in the prosecutions' favour.
Keywords: Tihar Jail