Natasha Narwal
Natasha Narwal
Litigation News

Pinjra tod member Natasha Narwal alleges violence, lockdown in Tihar Jail; Delhi HC grants time to Jail Authorities to file status report

The Court was hearing Natasha Narwal's petition seeking a direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to allow her access to her counsel by way of video conferencing.

Aditi Singh

Pinjra tod member Natasha Narwal today alleged before the Delhi High Court that "large scale violence" took place in Jail No. 6 of Tihar, following which video conferencing facilities had been suspended for the inmates (Natsha Narwal vs Superintendent, Central Jail 6 Tihar, NCT of Delhi & Anr).

Narwal is presently in judicial custody in connection with cases pertaining to the Delhi riots registered against her.

The statement was made before a Single Judge Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar, who was hearing Narwal's petition seeking a direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to allow her access to her counsel by way of video conferencing.

Counsel for Narwal, Advocate Adit Pujari stated that as per the information received by him, Jail number 6 in Tihar Jail, where Narwal was in custody, was under a complete lockdown following incidents of violence against some inmates on June 16. The video conferencing facilities were thus not being allowed, it was said.

Narwal was not subjected to any violence.

It was also pointed out that in terms of the Delhi Prison Rules, apart from legal assistance, Narwal was also entitled to speak to her family for 5 minutes every day.

In response, Standing Counsel (Crl) Rahul Mehra stated that he had "instructions to the contrary" from the Director General (Prisons).

It was explained that the inmates were not being able to contact their family etc through video conferencing on account of connectivity issues in Jail and the same were being resolved.

Mehra added that he would file a status report in the matter.

As far as the Narwal's grievance of not being able to speak to her family was concerned, Standing Counsel Mehra stated that we would look into it.

The matter would be heard next on June 29.

In March 2020, an order was passed by the Jail authorities, which discontinued visits and mulakat of prison inmates with their friends, family, as well as counsel on account of COVID-19.

In order to have effective legal assistance, especially in view of the fact that charge sheet stands filed in one of the Delhi riots cases against her, Narwal had moved the High Court, arguing that it was imperative for her to communicate with her counsel.

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