NHRC notices to the Director General, Police and Director General, Prisons, Uttar Pradesh over reported death of a prisoner in judicial custody of the Greater Noida Jail (05.10.2016)
New Delhi, 5th October, 2016
The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a prisoner of the Greater Noida Jail, an accused in the lynching of Mohammed Ikhlaq of Dadri, has died in a Delhi hospital during treatment. Observing that the contents of the news report raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the prisoner, the Commission has issued notices to the Director General, Prisons and the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh calling for a report in the matter within four weeks.
The Commission has also observed that the reported different versions and opinions of the jail and the hospital authorities and the suspicion raised by the family members of the deceased prisoner indicate that the matter requires a thorough probe to determine the facts, which led to his death. The allegations regarding beating of the prisoner by some police personnel in judicial custody are also serious in nature.
Even in the judicial custody, a prisoner cannot be deprived of his Right to Life, which is also ensured by the Constitution of India. The family members have all the rights to know about ill health of the prisoner. Someone, who is suffering from illness in judicial custody can not avail the medical treatment of his own choice. Therefore, the Commission observed, it is the duty of the authority under whose guardianship he is being detained, to protect his Right to life, which cannot be exercised, if proper medical treatment is not provided to him in time.
Reportedly, the hospital authorities have stated that he died due to Kidney/ respiratory "failure". The jail authorities have maintained that the prisoner died due to a vector-borne disease. Rejecting both the versions, the family members have alleged that Ravi, the deceased was being kept in a separate cell by the jail authorities and mercilessly beaten up by some police officials inside jail on the 30th September, 2016, due to which his condition deteriorated.
According to the media report, the authorities did not inform the family about the deteriorating condition of the prisoner. It was only after his death on the 4th October, 2016, that his family was informed.