32 Tihar officials booked for violation of jail rules in Delhi

The officers said that all 32 prison officials who have been booked were posted in Tihar’s jail number 7, where the two real estate developers were lodged, until the morning of August 28 when they were shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja jail in Maharashtra on the orders of the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday evening, a police spokesperson said that they have sent letters to the Delhi govt and the Union ministry of home affairs for departmental action(suspension) against 32 officers of Tihar jail. 
On Tuesday evening, a police spokesperson said that they have sent letters to the Delhi govt and the Union ministry of home affairs for departmental action(suspension) against 32 officers of Tihar jail. 
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 05:26 AM IST
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The Delhi Police crime branch on Tuesday filed a case against 32 officers of Tihar jail for allegedly helping jailed Unitech ex-promoters Sanjay and Ajay Chandra violate prison rules and run a “secret underground office in south Delhi” from the jail, officers aware of the matter said.

The officers said that all 32 prison officials who have been booked were posted in Tihar’s jail number 7, where the two real estate developers were lodged, until the morning of August 28 when they were shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja jail in Maharashtra on the orders of the Supreme Court.

“The FIR is against one jail superintendent and other junior officers such as deputy superintendent, assistant superintendent and warders. The FIR also names the two Chandra brothers and their father, Ramesh Chandra. There was prima facie evidence of the jail officers taking money for helping the prisoners, so we have registered case under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” said a mid-level police officer, who asked not to be named.

On Tuesday evening, a Delhi Police spokesperson said that they have sent letters to the Delhi government and the Union ministry of home affairs for departmental action(suspension) against 32 officers. As part of the probe, Delhi police commissioner Asthana recorded statements of all officers; inspected jail premises where the Chandra brothers were lodged, and also visited the jails in Maharashtra where they are currently incarcerated.

A senior prison officer, who asked not to be named, said the prison department is yet to receive the letter. “All 32 will be suspended until the investigation is completed. We are yet to receive the report,” the officer said.

On October 6, the Supreme Court, acting on the inquiry report submitted by the police commissioner, ordered the government to suspend the officers named in the report. On August 26, the apex court directed the Delhi Police chief to personally look into the role of prison officials after the Enforcement Directorate(ED) informed the court that Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra violated prison rules and ran a “secret underground office” in south Delhi from inside Tihar jail allegedly with the help of jail officers.

HT reported on October 7 that the crime branch will register an FIR in the case based on Asthana’s report, in which he questioned at least 18 jail officers, including two senior jail superintendents. Though no police officer confirmed this, a prison officer said that during the inquiry the jail officers showed alleged forged court documents, on the basis of which they claim they provided facilities to the Chandra brothers, such as telephones, refrigerators, and work stations inside the prison. However, they did not say who forged those documents.

The Chandra brothers were arrested in April 2017 for duping homebuyers in 74 Unitech projects. The two were also being probed by the ED. The ED in a report to the apex court had said that the two used the prison complex to transfer the proceeds of crime and were instructing their people outside to dispose of their properties. The ED said that it also unearthed a secret underground office’ in Delhi, which was being operated by erstwhile Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra, and was visited by his two sons – Sanjay and Ajay – when they were on parole or bail.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

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