A Faridkot district jail inmate, booked in April for alleged involvement in jail violence that erupted after another inmate's death, approached the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case.
Taking up the petition filed by Jaswant Singh, now confined in Gurdaspur jail, the court headed by justice Rekha Mittal issued notices of motion to the Punjab government, Faridkot jail authorities and the CBI for filing their replies.
On April 22, violence had broken out on the jail premises after a prisoner, Harsha Singh, had died under mysterious circumstances. He was the third inmate to have died within a fortnight. The Punjab chief minister had ordered a magisterial probe by the sub-divisional magistrate, Kotkapura.
An FIR was registered against the petitioner and 12 other inmates on April 22 under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act on the complaint of then jail superintendent JP Singh. It was alleged that inmates had hurled bricks and stones, causing injuries to jail officials. It was reported that the inmates had damaged jail property and set ablaze the canteen.
Allegations against jail staff
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Ramdeep Partap Singh argued that police officials were conniving with each other to save their skin and the first information report (FIR) had been registered with mala fide intention against the petitioner and other jail inmates since they had complained against the jail authorities.
The court was informed that when the incident took place on the jail premises, the petitioner was doing meditation inside his barrack and since he was suffering from hepatitis C and haemorrhoids, it was not possible for him to get involved in such an incident. It was also submitted that as the petitioner had filed complaints in 2011 in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission against then deputy inspector general of police, Faridkot, Rajpal Meena, about atrocities inflicted on him as he was related to the rival party, he had been falsely implicated in the present case.
The petitioner had also filed a complaint against inspector Jaspal Singh, alleging that the latter had been enrolled on the basis of fake documents.