Acting on a communication from Tihar Jail authorities, the city's chief district & sessions court has sought inspecting trial court judge Brijesh Kumar Garg's version on the circumstances under which he took a lawyer along during his scrutiny of prison condition in sub-jail number four on June 30.
The city-based lawyer had accompanied Garg during his inspection across the sub-jail's high security ward and cells, as first reported by HT on July 6. Sources said this is against the norms. During the inspection, Garg had detected preferential treatment given to high-profile inmates.
A jail source told HT, "The inspecting judge (Garg), in his response, told the district & sessions judge that he had exercised his prerogative, in his capacity as a judicial authority, in allowing the lawyer to accompany him during his visit."
The inspecting judge added that the lawyer had informed him about allegations of irregularities in sub jail four with respect to treatment being given to prisoners, the source added.
Tihar authorities had earlier sent a communication to the district & sessions judge and the registrar general of Delhi high court about its findings into allegations of preferential treatment given to high-profile inmates, action taken by them against officials found guilty and the fact that a lawyer had accompanied Garg during his inspection, said the source.
Garg is part of a group of judges who are assigned the task of inspecting prison conditions in each of the 10 sub-jails in Tihar.
According to another jail source, the lawyer hadn't mentioned his name in the jail's visitors' register as per the norm.
The lawyer had also allegedly interacted with a high-profile undertrial Abhay Srivastava, who is former chairman-cum-managing director of National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).
The CBI had arrested Srivastava in February for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes in the form of gold bricks.
Acting on findings of an internal probe over allegations of preferential treatment given to high-profile prisoners, Tihar authorities had suspended three officials — two assistant superintendents and a head warder.
The jail authorities also recommended to the ministry of home affairs disciplinary action against the sub-jail's former superintendent, SC Bharadwaj.