Assault on Pak undertrial: Why no action against attacker, HC asks cops

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked Senior Superintendent of Police and the concerned Superintendent Jail as to why proceedings have not been initiated against the prisoner who attacked a Pakistani undertrial inside the court premises of Principal District Judge Jammu on September 28 last.
The directions were passed by a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi hearing an application clubbed with a Public Interest Litigation filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association, seeking better facilities and speedy trial for all detainees and undertrials besides resolution of their other issues.
In its application before the High Court on November 2 last, Kashmir High Court Bar Association had stated that the undertrial— Jameel Ahmad, son of Mohammad Sidiq of Abbottabad, Pakistan—was injured on September 28 last year when a prisoner—Anchal Kumar, lodged in Central Jail Kotebalwal—hit him on head with brick while he was handcuffed, waiting to be taken back to Amphalla jail after being produced before the District court in connection with a pending case.
Subsequently, the High court had asked SSP Jammu to inform it about the action taken by against Anchal Kumar.
As the case came up hearing before the bench, KHCBA president, advocate Mian Qayoom drew attention of the court to the compliance report filed by the SSP, stating that the incident pertaining to assault on Jameel is a “non cognizable matter and does not require registration of a criminal case.”
At the same time, court was also informed about a communication of October 1 2013 by an officer of District Police Lines, recommending departmental inquiry against personnel holding handcuffs.
In the report, the officer has stated the personnel— Suhan Lal (ASI), Darshan Kumar (ASI), Puran Singh (constable), Lakhwinder Singh (constable) remained mute spectator at the time of scuffle and as such their act tantamount to dereliction and carelessness of duty for which departmental inquiry is to be initiated against them.
Advocate Qayoom also drew the attention of the court to jail offences which are committed by detainee and undertrial while in police custody.
He submitted that Jail Manual deals with discipline and punishment given to the person indulging in indiscipline while in jail, emphasizing that as per law, a detainee or an under trial is deemed to be in jail even during the course of attending court proceedings.
“Latest status report is required to be filed by the SSP Jammu along with Superintendent Jail as to why proceedings have not been initiated against Anchal Kumar who have been identified as a person causing injuries to Jameel Ahmad,” the bench said, directed them to file the report within four weeks.
On May 5 last year, a Pakistan inmate Sanaullah Ranjay was killed in Central Jail Kotebalwal Jammu, and after Supreme Court’s rap government charge-sheeted then jail Superintendent Rajni Sehgal for negligence in discharging her duties.
Bar Association president M A Qayoom represented the lawyers body while Additional Advocate General R A Khan defended state in the case.