The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Sathish K Agnihotri and Justice MM Sundresh recorded the report filed by Deputy Inspector General of Police/Prisons (Head Quarters), Chennai, AG Mourya and reserved its order.

The petition was filed by Prisoners Rights Forum's Director P Pugalenthi.

The petition had claimed some 120 prisoners and 14 officials were injured in the clash between jail officials and prisoners when the latter were staging a protest.
The petitioner sought a judicial probe and action against officials who allegedly attacked the prisoners. The prisoners had staged a dharna inside the prison claiming that false cases were foisted on them and various habeas corpus pleas were pending for a long time in the courts, it said.

In a counter-affidavit in the form of a report, the DIG of Prisons said the prisoners had gathered in large numbers and shouted slogans against the police and judges and some seven prisoners had climbed on top of a water tank of the kitchen room threatening that they will commit suicide.

The report said the agitating prisoners turned violent and started throwing stones at prison officials and also damaged the kitchen hall and room and glass panes.

The situation became uncontrollable and to control it and prevent further damage to government property and safeguard life of other prisoners and prison officials mild and minimum force was used, the DIG submitted.
He said that the seven prisoners who had climbed atop the water tank were assured of steps on their grievances and they were later taken to prison hospital for check up.
The report said 14 prison officials and 40 prisoners sustained simple injuries. The DIG said that he personally confirmed that no one was in need of any medical attention or treatment outside the prison hospital.
It said that after confirming that all the prisoners were given proper treatment and food they were locked up in their blocks.

The report denied custodial torture and said no prisoner was subjected to solitary confinement. Officials were very lenient and followed directions laid down by Supreme Court, it said.

The DIG said nothing untoward happened warranting a judicial probe and sought dismissal of the petition. The bench then reserved its order on the plea.


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