Two Tihar Jail wardens have been suspended and 200 additional CCTV cameras installed in prisons after a suspected custody death in February, the Delhi High Court was informed Monday.
Submitting a status report before a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta, jail authorities said: ‘The objective (behind installing new CCTV cameras) is to have better surveillance and monitoring of the activities of inmates as well as prison staff and security agencies.’
‘It will also help in checking banned activities and fights in prisons. The cameras will also help identify the culprits in case any such incident takes place,’ said an affidavit filed by the jail authorities.
Tihar authorities also informed the court that they have suspended two jail wardens involved in the alleged custodial death in February and also transferred two inmates to the prison’s high security ward.
The court will now hear the matter May 24. The court was hearing a case in which an inmate, Sunder, died after he was alleged to have been brutally beaten up.
At the last hearing, the court had summoned the Tihar Jail superintendent to explain how the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage had been erased in an alleged custody death case.
‘A man cannot be killed like this in jail…and the authorities have failed to preserve the CCTV footage,’ the bench said.
A first information report (FIR) in the case was registered with Hari Nagar police station after the high court’s intervention.
The bench had converted a letter sent by the law ministry, based on a complaint from the deceased’s brother Madan Kishore, into a public interest litigation and taken action on its own initiative.
Madan Kishore, also serving a life imprisonment, said that the family of the deceased was informed about his death Feb 13 but the incident happened Feb 2. Sunder succumbed to his injuries a week after the incident.
He claimed that Sunder was beaten up badly by two inmates with iron rods in the presence of two jail officials.