Read Order: Amit Kumar v. State of Haryana and Others
Chandigarh, June 21, 2022: While dealing with a petition filed by the petitioner-convict, lodged in the Central Jail of Bathinda seeking provision of a bullet proof jacket in and outside the jail premises due to apprehension of threat to his life at the hands of some of his rivals/gangsters, the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that the petitioner was lodged in the Central Jail,which was already designated as a high security prison.
However, the Bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul gave liberty to the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned by way of an appropriate application/representation in case any cogent material to support the apprehension of the petitioner qua danger to his life comes to the fore.
The Court came to the above-mentioned conclusion on account of the fact that the petition was vague and did not explain the source of such threat, except for a social media post allegedly made by a Superintendent of Police in UP stating that two persons apprehended in UP had disclosed that they had planned to eliminate the petitioner. Also, the fact that the State Counsel was not aware of any such threat, was taken into consideration by the Court.
Essentially, in this case, the petitioner, who was lodged in Bathinda Jail, was seeking directions to the respondent-authorities for providing him with a bullet proof jacket in and outside the jail premises as he was apprehending threat to his life at the hands of some of his rivals/gangsters.
A prayer was also made to provide adequate security to the petitioner both inside and outside the jail.
It is to be noted that the petition was completely silent and vague as to how the petitioner was apprehending threat to his life and why he required a bullet proof jacket, therefore, the Court asked specific questions to the petitioner’s counsel in this respect which led to the Counsel to submit that it was on the basis of some social media report doing the rounds that he apprehended threat to his life.
It was argued by the State counsels in this regard that they were unaware of the aforementioned social media reports as neither any complaint nor any representation in the said regard was made to them. They also submitted that as per the instructions received there was no such grave danger to the life of the petitioner as was pleaded by him.
After considering these submissions, the Court was of the opinion that the counsel for the petitioner failed to bring to the notice of the Court any convincing material other than the above social media report, from which it could be inferred that the life of the petitioner was under any serious threat, which would warrant the issuance of directions, as prayed for.
Further, Justice Kaul opined that the social media report to which the counsel for the petitioner referred to was some statement purportedly made by a Superintendent of Police of the State of Uttar Pradesh, to the effect that two persons apprehended in the State of Uttar Pradesh had disclosed that they had planned to eliminate the petitioner.
In this regard, the Court was of the view that the State counsel feigned total ignorance about any such statement which was supposedly doing the rounds of the social media or even any danger to the life of the petitioner.
However, the Court also noted that the petitioner’s counsel drew the attention of the Court to the directions issued by the Trial Court (Additional Sessions Judge, Gurugram) to Superintendent, District Jail, Gurugram, to make adequate security arrangements for the petitioner as and when he was to be taken out of the jail for Court proceedings etc.
Therefore, the Court observed that on an application moved by the petitioner, the trial Court concerned, after considering the alleged threat perception prevailing at that time, passed the said order.
Thus, against this backdrop, the Court came to the conclusion that the petitioner was lodged in the Central Jail, Bathinda which was already designated as a high security prison.
However, in case, any cogent material to support the apprehension of the petitioner qua danger to his life comes to the fore, the Court gave liberty to the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned by way of an appropriate application/representation in the said regard.
Accordingly, the instant petition was disposed of in above-mentioned terms.