Acting on the petition filed by extradited gangster Abu Salem, the Bombay High Court summoned the superintendent (SP) of the Arthur Road Central Prison, Rajendra Dhamne, with relevant provisions in the prison manual about safety of prison inmates.
Salem had, in the petition, alleged that the attack by a fellow inmate on him was pre-planned.
While summoning the SP, the court observed that it was the jailor’s responsibility to ensure that the inmates are safe and no fight ensues between them.
A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AR Joshi was hearing the petition wherein Salem claimed that the assault on him inside the prison by Tada accused Mustafa Dossa with a sharp spoon was pre-planned. Salem has also sought an inquiry into his subsequent transfer to Taloja Central Prison after the assault on July 24, 2010.
The court raised a query as to how the undertrials facing serious charges under the stringent acts like Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act and Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act were allowed to consume food from home.
When the additional government pleader SV Gajare responded that the special court has granted permission for the same, the court questioned as to why had the government failed in challenging it.
Even if food from home was allowed, why were the authorities letting them carry the tiffin boxes inside the jail premises and not serving the food in prison utensils, asked the judges.
“How could the prisoners be given steel spoons? Forget the security of other inmates, the prisoner could harm himself,” observed the court.
On July 24, Dossa had attacked Salem with a sharp spoon. Subsequently, Salem was transferred to Taloja and Dossa was sent to the Thane central prison. Salem, a key accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts, has been lodged in the South Mumbai jail since his extradition from Portugal in 2005.
After the incident, Salem was transferred to Taloja whereas Dossa has been sent to the Thane central prison.