Acting on a list submitted by the Tihar prison, the Delhi High court has asked the Delhi government to submit a report on the legal status of 268 under-trials and explain the reason/s behind the delay in completion of their trials.
The list, containing the case details of the 268 under-trials in Tihar, includes terror suspects (Indians and Pakistanis) and those charged under laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Activities and Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Acting on a high court notice, Tihar Jail had submitted to it the list of inmates whose trials were pending for the past "five years", said Tihar prison’s spokesperson Sunil Gupta.
Among those who figure on the list are terror suspects such as Noor Mohammed Tantray (Pakistani), Zafar Umer Khan (Pakistani), Mohammed Naushad and Latif Ahmed. Tantray and Khan, charged under POTA, were arrested in 2004. Naushad and Ahmed were arrested in 1996 under the Explosives Substances Act.
The list also included the names of over a dozen men charged under sections of the NDPS. This group of inmates includes two Nigerians, O John and Uche Rifuf, arrested in 2004.
The court notice was issued to Delhi government and Tihar in response to a writ petition drawing the court’s attention to the plight of those languishing in Delhi’s jails due to delayed trials.
The court has asked the Delhi government to submit the status report on April 7.
The court also asked the government to submit a report regarding shortage of public prosecutors, number of existing vacancies for the post of public prosecutors and also asked the government to explain as to what it proposes to do to augment the working conditions of these legal officers.