Court notice to Delhi government, Tihar jail over custodial death

Last Updated: Wed, May 23, 2012 15:20 hrs

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought the response of the Delhi government, Tihar jail authorities and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on a public interest litigation (PIl) seeking an inquiry into custodial deaths of Tihar Jail inmates due to medical negligence.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought the reply by May 30, the next date of hearing.

Advocate Jose Abraham, in his PIl, had pointed out alleged medical negligence meted out to inmates of Tihar jail, especially the poor, who, he said, were being denied medical assistance even in case of extreme emergency and in many instances resulting in their deaths.

The petition cited the case of V.R. Santosh, a disabled inmate who died in Tihar Feb 25 due to alleged medical negligence.

It said Santosh was brought to the jail in December 2010. He was permanently disabled since 2005 and was dependent on a feeding tube. He could consume only liquid diet, which the jail authorities failed to provide, it said.

"Such incidents are everyday occurrence in Tihar. The inmates are not given proper medical assistance, even in critical circumstances, and are left to die. Even though there is a doctor in the jail, he is not responsive," the petition said.

It said the inmates were being given two-three medicines for all kinds of ailments.

It also said the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, where Tihar inmates are taken for treatment, was ill-equipped and over-burdened.

The petition sought an independent inquiry into all such custodial deaths and demanded adequate compensation for the kin of the deceased.

It also asked the court to seek the appointment of a panel of doctors who would visit the jail twice a month.