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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Assault in jails: SC asks Centre, J&K to inform it of steps taken

PTI  New Delhi, July 16, 2013
First Published: 20:09 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:11 IST(16/7/2013)

Incidents of attack on foreign prisoners have "international ramifications",  the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, asking the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to apprise it of steps to ensure that assaults similar to the one on Pakistani inmate Sanaullah Ranjay do not recur.

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A bench of justices RM Lodha and SJ Mukhopadhyay also voiced displeasure over the pace of progress in investigation into the death of Ranjay at Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu.

"Such incidents have international ramifications. The government has to tell us that about the certain steps that have been taken and are being contemplated to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future," the court said and asked the Centre and the state government to file affidavits.

"Look, such incidents have happened in Pakistan and in India. In so far as Pakistan is concerned, we have no control and so far as India is concerned, we have got the control. You must tell us about the steps taken to ensure that such incidents do not happen again," it said.

The court, after perusing the affidavit filed by the Jammu and Kashmir government, expressed unhappiness there was "not a single word" about investigation into Ranjay's death though 72 days had passed since the incident.

"You must have held some preliminary inquiry. What are the findings? This (affidavit) is nothing as it does not give as to what had happened? How it happened? It does not even say the date on which the FIR was lodged.

"More than 72 days have passed and the investigation has not completed. The incident occurred inside the four corners of your jail. There is not a word about the investigation. The state must be co-operative and forthright. It is not a complex case. The approach of state is always obstructive," it said.

The court asked the state government to apprise it of actions taken against jail officials in the case.

It, however, said that certain steps have been taken, but the better enforcement was needed to stop such incidents.

It was hearing a plea filed by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh seeking repatriation of foreign and Pakistani prisoners, including Ranjay, and those who have already spent over 15 years in detention in India.

Ranjay, however, died on May 9 here after being attacked inside the Jammu jail.


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