The National Human Rights Commission, setting aside the explanation given by the DG (Prisons), Delhi, has recommended that the Government of NCT of Delhi pay a sum of Rs.3 lakh as relief to the next of kin of an under-trial prisoner, Sanjay, who died in the custody of the Central Jail No. 8/9, Tihar. The Chief Secretary has been asked to submit compliance report by 15th August, 2013.
The Commission took up the matter on the basis of an intimation, as per its standing guidelines, received from the Jail Superintendent on 22nd April, 2007, about Sanjay's death in the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi while undergoing medical treatment. He was lodged in jail on 13th March, 2007 in a case of FIR No. 112/07 u/s 27-61-85 NDPS Act registered at Police Station, Seelampur, Delhi.
The Commission issued several notices, reminders and even conditional summons to the concerned authorities to get all the relevant reports, including inquest, post-mortem, viscera, final cause of death report and magisterial enquiry report, which were not forth coming.
Subsequently, on receipt of the reports, the Commission got them analysed by a medical specialist who opined that the progression of disease pointed towards withdrawal syndrome and its related complications. In order to completely detoxify his body, the under-trail prisoner should have been treated for de-addiction for a longer period and monitored accordingly. He concluded that there was negligence on the part of the Jail administration for not providing the prisoner timely treatment, regular follow-up and the delay in referral.
The Commission has observed that these lapses led to the death of a person in the custody of the State, therefore it is liable to pay monetary relief to the next of his kin and issued a show cause notice to the Government of NCT of Delhi on 11th February, 2013. In response, the DG (Prisons), Delhi, denied that timely and regular treatment was not provided to the prisoner and any compensation may not be granted to the next of kin of the deceased, which the Commission did not accept.