The principal judge of the Bombay city civil and sessions court directed the magistrate court to take action against Arthur Road jail staff, after the medical report of 23 accused in the Azad Maidan violence case confirmed they had been assaulted.
“Take action as per law,” the judge directed the magistrate.
The accused were sent for medical examination after they complained they were assaulted by Arthur Road jail staff on August 24, when they were sent to judicial custody. The medical report confirmed they were assaulted. The additional chief metropolitan magistrate court had forwarded the report and the complaint to the sessions court and chief magistrate court for directions on further action.
The magistrate court does not have the power to take cognisance on the complaint against jail staff, sources from the court said. “The principal judge of the sessions court has charge of all jails located within its jurisdiction. The magistrate court can take action only after direction from the sessions court,” the source said.
Swapna Joshi, the principle judge of the Bombay city civil and sessions court directed the magistrate court to take action against jail staff in response to the report forwarded by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate court on Saturday.
The additional chief metropolitan magistrate court has requested the chief metropolitan magistrate court to expedite the inquiry process and assign the case to another magistrate court to expedite the process.
“Action will be taken against jail staff based on the judicial inquiry’s findings,” said advocate Khalid Azmi, who represents some of the 23 accused.
The accused were sent to judicial custody on the evening of August 24. The next day, when some of their relatives went to meet them at Arthur Road prison in the morning, the accused told them about jail staff assaulting them. Azmi then filed a complaint with the magistrate court. The court, on August 29, directed jail authorities to take them to a nearby hospital for a medical examination.