BY- ATLURI SRI VIDYA
On Wednesday the Supreme Court has stated that Tihar Jail is in a sorry state of affairs called it a “den of criminals and murderers,” and ordering the Union home ministry to take immediate steps to improve jail reforms and management.
The Supreme Court was also displeased by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for failing to provide an action plan and report on the activities taken in response to the recommendations made by Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana with respect to improving conditions in Tihar.
The panel was deliberating on a case involving Tihar Jail authorities’ collusion with former Unitech founders Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra. Sanjay and Ajay were in jail from August 2017 on charges of unlawfully taking funds from house purchasers.
The Delhi police notified the Supreme Court that it had filed an FIR over 37 people in the case under different provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Recently the Enforcement Directorate has revealed that it had discovered a hidden ‘underground office’ run by former Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra was frequented by his sons Sanjay and Ajay who were prisoners in Tihar while being on parole or bail.
According to a panel of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah, Asthana’s report advised installing Surveillance cameras, cellphone jammers, body scanners, and some other security checks inside Tihar Jail, and yet there is no report upon this MHA’s adherence with the October 6 decision.
“The situation in Tihar Jail is deplorable. We heard in the press two or three days ago that a murder was taking place in the jail. It really has turned into a haven for crooks. “Within three weeks, the appropriate secretary in MHA shall present an action plan and a report on activities done so far in response to the proposals made by Delhi Commissioner of Police Rakesh Asthana,” the bench added.
The bench has further added that “Take urgent action and make a report.” The MHA has not presented an action plan for improving conditions in Tihar Jail, nor has it issued a status report on the measures done thus far.”
In the beginning, assistant solicitor general K.M. Nataraj, representing the Delhi police, told the Supreme Court that an FIR had been filed under several provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. 32 jail officers, the Chandras, along with another acquaintance and two of their workers, have been accused of colluding and putting forth unlawful operations from the jail.