An inspection report that had found inmates including Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay, who have been accused of duping home buyers, were enjoying comforts such as LED television and sofas in Delhi’s Tihar Jail irked the Supreme Court today.
“Is there a parallel system running in jails?,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur asked as it sought to know what action the government has taken on the report that pointed out serious lapses on the part of prison authorities.
Following complaints from inmates that the Chandra brothers and others were enjoying “luxurious lifestyle,” an Additional Sessions judge carried out an inspection in the Tihar jail on September 4.
“Report of a judge says that Unitech officials are enjoying facilities in Tihar. Is there a parallel system running in jails? Do they have special rights in jails? What have you done about it?,” the bench, that also comprises justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, asked the Centre’s counsel.
“These persons are enjoying TV. God knows what all they are enjoying. They are sitting on sofas,” the bench observed.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for the Centre, said that action will be taken in such cases.
When the ASG said the top court was dealing with the issue related to speedy trial for under-trial prisoners, the judges said: “We are dealing with something which is shocking.”
“What is your government planning to do?,” the bench asked Mr Lekhi, who said he would get come back to the court with a reply.
The court also flagged recent media reports that said many inmates using mobile phones inside jails in several states, including Bihar.
The Supreme Court was hearing a matter related to deficiencies in jails as highlighted by two top court judges during their visit to Faridabad jail and an observation home in June this year.
With inputs from PTI