Despite a Supreme Court judgment prohibiting police authorities from handcuffing prisoners while taking them outside jails, the system is still being practised at the Yerawada Central Prison in Pune.
A letter sent by three undertrials to the Bombay High Court states that the police handcuff them when they have to be transported from the prison to other places such as hospital, court, etc.
A division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AP Bhangale on Wednesday directed additional public prosecutor FR Shaikh to file a reply in the matter within two weeks.
Jullu Singh Dudhani, Pankajsingh Dudhani, and Lalsingh Dhangar, were arrested in 2007 by Swargate police, Pune, under section 395 (dacoity) of the Indian Penal Code. They have, however, written to the court alleging that they are forcibly handcuffed.
They have now sought implementation of the 1995 Supreme Court judgment wherein the apex court had categorically stated that such practices were illegal.
The letter states: “We belong to good family and have been in custody for about three years, we are unlikely to abscond. This practice on part of the police is cruel and torturous.”
The letter, which was converted into a petition by the high court, further said: “The respondents (jail authorities) are well experienced officers knowing the dignity and decorum of the apex court's order. They must obey the directives.”
Advocate Vishwajit Sawant, who was appointed as the petitioners’ lawyer, pointed out that the government was yet to file a reply.