The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has pulled up the Delhi Government and ordered it to pay a relief of Rs.7 lakh to the families of three prisoners who died in Rohini and Tihar jails. The Delhi Chief Secretary has been asked to send the compliance report along with the proof of payment.

Raju (32), an undertrial prisoner in Rohini district jail, had reportedly died of injuries caused by some blunt objects after being hit by fellow inmates during the night of April 6-7, 2011. The post-mortem report showed that there were a number of ante-mortem injuries caused by hard blunt objects on different parts.

Setting aside the contention of the Director-General (Prisons) of the Delhi Government that no compensation might be awarded in the case, the NHRC observed that the prison authorities were expected to prevent attacks on a prisoner and to save him from any violence and injury caused not only by the jail officials but also by the co-prisoners. Since they failed to perform their duty as per law, the State was liable to compensate to the victim’s family by paying Rs.3 lakh. A compliance report along with the proof of payment should be sent to NHRC by January 24.

In another case, undertrial prisoner Rakesh died on November, 10, 2011, while undergoing treatment for his injuries at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hosptial. He was lodged in Tihar Central Jail No. 8/9. The Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi, in his inquiry concluded that initial circumstances surrounding the infliction of blunt trauma upon the abdomen of the inmate was stated to be a fall from stairs and the immediate cause of death. This gave rise to cloud of suspicion. Since there was no response to NHRC’s show cause notices from the Delhi Chief Secretary, the Commission observed that it appeared that the Government had nothing to say in the matter. Hence it recommended that the Delhi Government pay Rs.3 lakh as interim relief to Rakesh’s family. The compliance report along with the proof of payment should be sent to NHRC by February1.

In the third case, Vishabh Chaudhary, a convicted prisoner, committed suicide in the Rohini jail by hanging on April 22, 2010. The Commission, after examining records, observed that the detaining authority had not taken adequate precaution to prevent the prisoner from harming himself.

For this breach of duty in taking care of the prisoner, the State must bear liability and pay Rs.1lakh to Chaudhary’s family. The compliance report along with proof of payment should be sent to NHRC by February 14, it ordered.

More In: Delhi