An undertrial lodged in Tihar Jail has sought permission to be taken for court proceedings outside Delhi with his hands and legs tied. He has claimed that the police could bump him off and present it as an encounter case.
A city court has granted the undertrial, Mehraj Ali Khan, his wish. Khan feels this would discourage cops who, he claims, have hatched a plan to shoot him and project the case as him trying to escape from custody.
His application, put up in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain, was accepted last week. The court has allowed Khan to be taken for court trials outside Delhi in handcuffs and fetters.
Khan’s request is a rare one, said Tihar officials. “Such requests are extremely rare. These kind of requests were common during the 1980s,” said Sunil Gupta, law officer at Tihar Jail.
The special cell of Delhi Police had arrested Khan on charges of dacoity and robbery in 2005. He was allegedly active in the city, especially in the areas like Shahdara, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Maurice Nagar.
He was also accused of similar crimes in the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Haryana. Cases against him are pending in the courts of these states.
Khan does not apprehend a threat to his life within Delhi, but suspects that cops may strike while taking him for court proceedings outside Delhi. “He is often taken to other states for trial. He feels this gives the police enough opportunity to kill him in some deserted place,” said a source.
While granting permission, the magistrate doubted the authenticity of the demand, but said his security concern could not be overlooked. “It is directed that as and when he is taken to any court for any purpose outside Delhi, the police officers will keep him in handcuffs and fetters,” says the order.