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Jail Visits of Bar Association ….Jammu Jails ..January 2015

Jammu Jails report visited by High Court Bar Members on 09th, 10thand 12thJanuary, 2015

In pursuance of the orders of the Hon’ble High court on 30.12.2014, in case titled J&K High Court Bar Association versus State of J&K and others, a Six Member Team of J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar comprised of;

  1. Aijaz Bedar, Advocate, Vice President.
  2. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate, Secretary.
  3. Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen, Advocate, Joint Secretary.
  4. Rafiq Ahmad Joo Advocate.
  5. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar Advocate.
  6. Abdul Hamid Dar Advocate.

visited several jails i.e., Central Jail Kotebalwal, District Jail Kathua, Sub Jail Heera Nagar, District Jail Amphalla, District Jail Udhampur of Jammu region.

The members met the inmates of the jail and tried to ascertain from them as to what kind of facilities of food, clothing, medical aid, hygiene, sanitation and legal aid etc. was available to these inmates.

The team during the visit and after interview/interaction with the detenues, undertrial prisoners and convictees lodged in the above said jails, the team observed and are issuing this report for information and needful redressal of grievances of the said detenues/undertrial and convictees.

 

 

  1. Central Jail Kotebalwal

On 09.01.2015 the team visited the Central Jail Kotebalwal. In the said jail two foreign national undertrials (militancy related) namely Qurban Ali son of Mulla Ahmad resident of Per Ali Shah Suba Sind Pakistan and Zaffar Iqbal son of Mohammad Yousufresident of TralkhalTangilla District PalendriAzad Kashmir are lodged in the said jail. Qurban Ali has been acquitted in one case and in another case he was given three years imprisonment. The period of imprisonment stands already expired. He is facing another case under section 7/25 A. Act before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Doda. In the said case the evidence has been closed since more than two years and his statement stands recorded under section 342 Cr.P.C. and for the last two year the case is fixed for arguments but unfortunately the presiding officer is not hearing the arguments despite submissions of defence counsel. He wants either his case may be transfer to any other court or some direction may be sought from Hon’ble High Court for quick disposal. He was arrested in the year 2006 and then was lodged in various jails and interrogation centres.

Another undertrial Zaffar Iqbalstated that he has been arrested in the year 2007 and is facing trial u/s 307, 121, 120B RPC 7/25 A. Act before the Sessions Court Janipur. In the said case there are also some co-accused and among them one was discharged by the court at the charge stage and others including Zaffar Iqbal were charged. Since other accused persons are locals and one of them preferred a Revision Petition before the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu and Kashmir. The High court is not deciding the said revision since long time and trial of the accused/undertrial is getting delayed on this said reason despite the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the cases of the foreigners be disposed of in one year.

In the said jail two more foreign national detenues (Militancy related) namely Ghulam Nabi son of Fazil Din resident of PutwalSialkote Pakistan and Asif Khan son of Mohammad Sharief Resident of Chaher Bazar RawalkoteAzad Kashmir arelodged.

Ghulam Nabi was arrested in the year 1995 and initially he was lodged in the District Jail Amphalla Jammu and in the year 2009 was shifted to the central jail Kotebalwal Jammu. He was acquitted by the Tada Court Jammu in one case and in the other case he was sentenced to nine years imprisonment, which period has expired. At this time he is detained under PSA. In the year 2010 he received deportation order but unfortunately CBI people raised objection with the prayer that they have preferred an appeal before Hon’ble Supreme Court against one of his acquittal order passed by the Tada Court. Once he has received the notice from Hon’ble Supreme Court but he doesnot know whether the said appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court is still pending or not. He has sent one application to legal aid of Hon’ble Supreme Court for engaging a counsel, but doesnot know about the same. He requested to get enquire about the result/status of the appeal pending before Hon’ble Supreme Court. He stated that on his behalf Mr. Shafaqat Hussain Advocate has already filed a writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court of J&K at Srinagar, praying to produce the detenue before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. His PSA has expired on 19.01.2015.

Another detenue Asif Khan has been arrested in the year 2004 and has been lodged in various jails and interrogation centres which includes Tehihar jail. In this jail he is lodged since 2007. In some cases he has been acquitted and in other cases he was sentenced imprisoned and the period of imprisonment already stands expired. Presently he is lodged under PSA on his behalf Mr. Shafaqat Hussain Advocate has obtained an order for his deportation to his native place from the Hon’ble High Court but nothing has been done till now. He has no contact with his home people. He wants to be shifted to central jail Srinagar. He has also submitted the representation to the Red Cross and Pakistan Embassy but as per the DG Prisons his case has not been cleared by the Pakistan Govt. as stated by him.

In the Central Jail Kotebalwal there are also five foreign national convicted prisoners (militancy related) namely Khalid Parvaiz son of Mohammad Ali resident of Tehsil Shakargarh District NarowalSialkote Pakistan, Mohammad Nayeem Anwar son of Mohammad Anwar Bhat resident of Lahore Pakistan, Mohammad Imran son of Abdul Gaffar resident of SDBN DeraNawab Khan Bhawalpora Pakistan, Mohammad Abdullah son of Mohammad Zarine resident of SerianSarhad PAK, Ghulam Fareed son of Mohammad Shafi resident of Village Ropai PAK.

All these convicted persons are lodged in the said jail since December 2008, and have been sentenced 10 years imprisonment and fine of Rs. 10000/- each. The convictees have preferred appeal through their council namely Rameshwar Prakash Advocate. They stated that their home people have sent counsel fee in the account of Bheem Singh so that the convictees can pay the fee to the advocate, but Bheem Singh is denying that he has received any amount as stated by them. They said that kindly take the matter with Qayoom Sahib regarding the transfer of appeal from J&K High Court Jammu wing to Hon’ble High Court Srinagar wing. Moreso Mohammad Nayeem son of Mohammad Anwar is lodged since last 11 years as he has been given life imprisonment and against said conviction he has preferred an appeal through his counsel RavinderKoul, but doesnot know the present status of the appeal.

Also in the said jail there are nine persons militancy related undertrial namely Mohammad Qasim son of Ali Muhammad resident of MalharBillawar Kathua, Zakir Hussain Bhat son of Ali Mohammad Bhat resident of MalharBillawar Kathua, Mohammad Aslam son of Mohammad Shafi resident of Basantgarh Udhampur, ShafaqatMohi-ud-din son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din resident of Kulgam, Shahid Sheikh son of Sharief Sheikh resident of West Bengal, Mubarak Ahmad Bhat son of Mushtaq Ahmad resident of ShaliporaKulgam, Zakir Hussain son of Azhar Hussain resident of West Bengal, Farooq Ahmad son of Abdul Rasheed Sheikh resident of Baderwah, Mohammad Abbas son of Mohammad Afzal resident of Kishtawar.

Shafaqat, Mubarak, Zakir, Shahid are facing trial in one case which has been filed by the NIA and they are the co-accused in the said case. The prosecution evidence is going on and their PSA stands expired. These persons are in the jail since 11.01.2011.

In respect of Mohammad Abbas son of Mohammad Afzal it appears that initially his appeal against the conviction was filed at Srinagar wing but Hon’ble Chief Justice declined to hear the same at Srinagar and therefore, has been transferred to Jammu wing where Mr. Mohammad Aslam Goni is representing the accused and he doesnot know present status of the appeal. He requested the transfer of appeal to Srinagar again.

Zakir Hussain son of Ali Mohammad resident of Kathua was being so many cases before several courts and he has been given life imprisonment in one case there after he has preferred appeal before the Hon’ble High Court which is still pending. The said appeal is being represented by Tariq Hussain Advocate before the Hon’ble High Court, but he also do not know the present status of the appeal.

Zakir Hussain is also co-accused with other persons namely Mohammad Qasim and Mohammad Aslam in case pending before Principal Sessions Judge Jammu but their counsel has been engaged as Public Prosecutor and therefore, non-availability of counsel their new counsel, their case remain without progress, despite of the fact the court appointed Amicus-curibut they are not appearing.

Three local persons namely Abdul Wahid son of Ahmadullah resident of Banihal, Mohammad Yousuf son of Abdul Rasheed resident of BasantgarhRamnagar Udhampur, Tariq Mattooson of Ghulam Nabi Mattooresident of Sutti district Doda are also lodged in the said jail as convicts.

Abdul Wahid is in the jail for the last 12 years and has been given life imprisonment by the court. Appeal is pending before the Hon’ble High Court. He also requested for the transfer of appeal to Srinagar.

Mohammad Yousuf Wani is in the jail since 12 years. In one case he has been given 11 years imprisonment, but is not released as the authorities are not counting the past period of 12 years in jail. He requested for filing of writ petition so that his period of detention is counted so that he can be released. He has tuned psychiatric patient and he is taking the tension drugs.

Farooq Ahmad Sheikh son of Abdul Rasheed Sheikh resident of Baderwah has been given life imprisonment he has preferred an appeal against the said conviction before the Hon’ble High Court Jammu is being represented by Mohammad Aslam Goni, but doesnot know the status of the appeal.

Tariq Mattoo has been also given life imprisonment and has been imposed Rs. 5000/- fine, he has also filed an appeal before the Hon’ble High Court but doesnot know the present status of the appeal.

Mushtaq Ahmad Khan son of Hisam-ud-din Khan resident of Baderwah was brought in this jail before one week as a convicted prisoner as he has been sentenced to life imprisonment by Sessions Judge Baderwah. He has handed over the documents to the Advocate P.N. Bhat for filing of the appeal against the said conviction.

  1. District jail Kathua

On 10.01.2015 the team visited the district jail Kathua. In the said jail thereare only two foreign national detenues namely;

Mohammad NayeemJath son of Mohammad HanifJath resident of Chack No. 421 PB Porewaladistrict Bahidi Punjab Pakistan and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat son of Riyaz Ahmad Bhat resident of Faisalabad Pakistan lodged in the said jail. Nayeem has been arrested on 13.06.2015 from Kulgam and detained in the said jail for the last three months under PSA.

Another detenue Aijaz Ahmad is detained for the last ten years in various jails and is in the said jail since four years, under PSA. He wants a writ petition be filed in the HOnb’le High Court for his deportation because he has been acquitted by Sessions Judge Srinagar.

  1. District jail Heera Nagar

On the same day i.e., 10.01.2015 at 1:00 p.m. the team visited the district jail Heera Nagar and found that there are only Pakistani foreigners lodged in the said jail;

Akhtar Islam son of Mohammad Nazir resident of Purna Lahore Pakistan and Mohammad YasinJath son of Ashiq Hussain Jath resident of GulChahalSialkot Pakistan are lodged in this jail for the last eight years. Their cases stand disposed of on 04.10.2011,from that date the said detenues are being detained under PSA Mr. Mian Qayoom Sahib has filed writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court for deportation as we have handed over the documents to him in the Central Jail Srinagar. We have no knowledge about the present status of the case. Kindly enquire about the case from Qayoom Sahib, before sometime their counselling has been done, but their cases for deportation are not being considered. They have grievance that other persons who’s cases were disposed of after their cases they have been deportated, but they are still in the jail. They requested for shifting of the jail either to Central Jail Srinagar or Central Jail Kotebalwal.

We found in the jail two foreign nationals are also lodged in the jail who are unable to talk, they have completely turned mad and they donot remember their names even. Recently another detenue Mohammad RafiqPathan resident of Pakistan has turned mad and now his trial has been dispensed with by the court. Two more persons namely Abdul Hadi and Mudasir Hussain son of Mohammad Hussain resident of district Masroor Punjab Pakistan one are lodged as undertrial in the said jail for the last 2 ½ years, and are facing trial before the Shamber court.

  1. District jail udhampur

On 12.01.2015 the team visited the district jail Udhampur. There are number of undertrials detained in this jail. Maximum persons have been shown involved under section 302 RPC in various cases;

Mohammad Mushtaq Ahmad son of Akbar Lone resident of Soudh Goal Ramban is detained for the last ten years and in this jail he is lodged for last five years. He was sentenced in one case which stands already expired and another case under section 302 RPC is still pending before Sessions Court Ramban. In this case only final arguments are to be advanced.

Ghulam Nabi Sheikh son of Nizam Din resident of Doda was arrested in the year 2010. Initially he was ledged in Jammu jail and after that is lodged in this jail. He has been acquitted in two cases by Jammu court but now has been shown involved in 14 cases pending before Sessions Judge Doda. Out of the said cases six are pending under 302 RPC. In the year 2014 he has been produced before court only 4 times. He further stated that he has been also shown involved in another criminal case at Dehradun, but because of non-availability of escort, is not being produced before the said court. Cases pending before Doda court, there are other co-accused with me who are also lodged in this jail are Jameel Ahmad, Mohammad Osama, Ghulam Nabi and Khurshid Ahmad. All are lodged in the jail have been shown involved in cases under section 302 RPC pending before Sessions Judge Doda as co-accused.

Mohammad Rafiq Sheikh son of Abdul Rehman son of NowchiMahoor has been arrested in the year 2011 and 17 cases have been registered by the various police stations. He is facing trial in 3 cases before the district court Kulgam under section 302 RPC and are fixed for prosecution evidence. Sessions Judge Reasihas acquitted him in 11 cases.

Abdul Majid son of Mehtab-ud-din resident of Rajouri aged 62 years is detained in this jail since four years and has been shown involved in Udhampur Blast which is pending before the Sessions Judge Udhampur. Case is fixed for final arguments.

Bashir Ahmad son of Ghulam Mohammad Himat resident of GulabgarhMahu is in the jail since 2007. He was shown involved in ten cases, out of them he has been acquitted in four cases by Sessions Judge Riasi other cases are pending in the courts but unfortunately he has been shown accused under section 512 Cr.P.C. in some cases despite the knowledge that he is in the jail and is being produced before the said court. One more case has been registered against him in P/s Qazigund but the challan has not been produced before the court of law. He requested that if he is shifted to Riasi jail where his cases are pending in order to avoid long journey where he is being taken in small load carrier.

Mumtaz Ahmad son of Ali Mohammad Resident of Tehsil Mahoor is in the jail since 2009 and is facing trial under section 302 RPC, 7/25 A. Act. Case is fixed before the court of Sessions Judge Riasi. This jail is for away at least 65 km from Riasi and in case he is shifted to Riasi jail there will be fair trial and good for his health.

He stated the Jail Manual is not being implemented in letter and spirit.

 

Jameel Ahmad Wani son of Mohammad Ibrahim Wani resident of MangrotraMarmat is facing trail in seven cases before the Sessions Judge Doda and has been shown absconding in another eight cases pending before the same court. Now my counsel has filed an application for cancellation of warrant under section 512 which is yet to be decided. He is not being produced before the court regularly.

Nazir Ahmad Pathanson of Mohammad YousufPathan resident of Mehoor is in the jail since 2007. He has been acquitted in three cases and is now facing trial under section 302 RPC before the Sessions court Riasi. The case is fixed for evidence.

Manzoor Ahmad Naikson of Ghulam Mohammad Naik resident of RambanGool is in the jail since 9 years. He has been acquitted in 9 cases under section 302 RPC and is presently facing trial in one case before the Sessions Judge Udhampur.

Nissar Ahmad son of Mohammad Shafi resident of Banihal is also in the jail as undertrial and his case is pending in the court of Ramban.

Ghulam Hassan Bhat son of Abdul Razak resident of Banihal aged 70 years is in the jail for five months, he is not being produced before the court of Banihal.

Mohammad Shafi son of Misre resident of Rajouri is in the jail since 2007. Prior to this, he was in the Riasi and Rajouri Jails. He is being shown involved in so many cases under section 302 RPC, 307 RPC. In three cases he has been acquitted, other cases are still pending.

He stated that after his acquittal in a particular case he is being shown involved in other cases, this process is going on since 2007.

 

During the visit the Bar Team observed :

  1. The inmates are not getting adequate medical facilities. Competent Medical Officers have not been deputed in the jails and therefore, are playing with the lives of the detenues/undertrials/convicts.
  2. The inmates have attracted diseases such as kidney disease, chest disease, skin disease etc. due to lack of doctors and medical facilities.
  3. The foreign national inmates are not being provided proper care especially in Sub Jail Heera Nagar and are not deported despite counselling and other formalities.
  4. The inmates are not getting proper legal advice and are being left unattended. The legal aid people are providing them advocates who are not acquainted with murder trials. Therefore, are not getting fair trial.
  5. In district jail Udhampur maximum inmates belong from Raisi where jail is existing. They can be shifted to the district Jail Raisi, where their case are pending.

 

After interacting with the inmates, the team members have come to the conclusion that the prisoners of J&K lodged in these Jails suffer from a feeling of deprivation and helplessness. Being away from their home place, they are unable to have frequent interaction with their family members. They are not also able to meet their lawyers and receive medical care. They feel that they can be picked up anytime for any kind of treatment as the courts are more sympathetic towards the prosecution than the accused. It is therefore, the duty of everyone, including those who claim to provide free legal aid and assistance to the detenues and undertrial prisoners to come forward and help these prisoners. The Human Rights Associations/Groups/Organisations also required to take note of the happenings and come to the rescue of these prisoners. The Bar Association on its part has also decided to agitate the matter before the court of law to redeem the sufferings and miseries of these prisoners lodged in these Jails. This report is accordingly prepared and circulated to all the concerned for immediate necessary action.

 

  1. Aijaz Bedar, Advocate, Vice President.

 

  1. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate, Secretary.

 

  1. Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen, Advocate, Joint Secretary.

 

  1. Rafiq Ahmad Joo Advocate.

 

  1. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar Advocate.

 

  1. Abdul Hamid Dar Advocate.

Copy forwarded to :

  1. Registrar Judicial J&K High Court, Srinagar, for placing the same on the record of O.W.P. No. 767/06 titled J&K High Court Bar Association versus State of J&K for the perusal of the Hon’ble High Court.
  2. To the Press for wide publication.
  3. Office file for record.

 

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