Allahabad high court summons UP official for custodial death of 7 Sikh prisoners in 1994
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad high court has summoned Uttar Pradesh principal secretary, home, to appear before it in person on March 5, following the state government’s failure to file a counter response in a 1994 custodial death case of seven Sikh prisoners in Pilibhit jail. The seven were booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
The order has been passed by the division bench of justice Sudhir Agarwal and justice Rajiv Misra.
According to the counsel for the victim and their families, senior advocate SFA Naqvi said that the petition had challenged the 2007 notification of the Uttar Pradesh government which had invoked Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw the cases against the accused jail staff.
Led by the then jail superintendent, Vindhyachal Singh Yadav, the jail staff was reportedly responsible for the custodial deaths of seven Sikh Tada undertrials on the night of November 8-9, 1994.
Six of the convicts were recorded to have been brought dead to the Pilibhit district hospital over a period of 12 hours, while the critically injured seventh undertrial, Vichitra Singh, had been referred to King George Medical College in Lucknow and succumbed to his injuries 12 days later.
The remaining 21 convicts with serious injuries were hospitalised and sent back to the prison after recovery.
In 2007, the then Mulayam Singh Yadav-led government secretly invoked Section 321 of the CrPC to withdraw the cases against the accused.
This was in contradiction to an earlier order of the home department issued on January 16, 1995, by the principal secretary, jails, on the orders of the governor, under which sanction for the prosecution of PCS officer Vindhyachal Singh was granted under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code.