Foreign inmates protested in Tihar for consideration of interim bails: Delhi HC told

New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): The Tihar Jail authorities on Monday submitted before the Delhi High Court that over a dozen foreign nationals lodged in the prison gathered and protested on June 16 demanding the consideration of their interim bail.

"On June 16 morning, 15-20 foreign inmates created problems in the jail by forcing their way out of the ward and damaged the locks of gates of ward number 9. Tihar Jail officials raised the alarm at around 8.30 am and reinforcements arrived thereafter and inmates were physically controlled by minimum use of force," Tihar Jail said in its response on a petition filed by Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal seeking to have video conferences with her lawyers.

Narwal, who is currently lodged in Tihar Prison, was arrainged by the Delhi Police as an accused in three FIRs registered in connection with protest during the violence in northeast Delhi.

Tihar Jail told a bench of Justice C Harishankar that to curb down the movement of the inmates and their gathering, the telephone facility of the inmates was temporarily restricted for a few days from June 16 to June 23 though it was allowed wherever found urgent.

Now, the telephone facility for inmates has been restored from June 24. Tihar Jail officials also informed the court that Narwal has been informed about the development and she will be granted daily call as per jail rules.

The prison also told the court that during the protest by agitated prisoners, 15 inmates and 10 jail staff have suffered minor injuries and have been given treatment in the jail dispensary by the jail doctors. "Punishment as per jail rules will be made against the defaulting inmates," Tihar said in its response.

The Tihar Jail officials also told the court that it had allowed Narwal to conduct video conferencing with her advocate on June 24 and the next video conference session of Narwal with the counsel will be conducted on the evening of June 29.

Narwal also got the facility of calling her family on telephone eight times so far and 13 books and 2 registers have been provided to her, jail authorities said.

The plea sought directions to Tihar Jail to allow Narwal daily access to her advocates by way of video conferencing. She also sought directions to the prison authorities to follow the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, and allow access to books and reading material to enable her to complete her MPhil.

Narwal's advocate told the court that in order to effectively exercise her constitutional right to legal representation under Article 21, for the purpose of a fair trial, she needs to be allowed to communicate with her counsel.

She was arrested on March 23 in connection with a case related to anti-CAA protests in Jafrabad of northeast Delhi but was granted bail thereafter.

However, soon after getting bail, she was again arrested by Delhi Police on March 24 in another case and is now under judicial custody. She was also arrested in a third case related to her role in northeast Delhi violence matter. (ANI)