‘Security lapse’: 4 Tihar officials suspended over Yasin Malik’s appearance in SC
Despite a ban on the physical production of a terrorist, Malik, who is serving life imprisonment in a terror funding case, appeared in the Supreme Court under police escort on Friday
Delhi prison authorities on Saturday suspended four officials, including one deputy superintendent, two assistant superintendents and one head warder of jail number 7 of Tihar Central prison, a day after the physical appearance of jailed Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik in the Supreme Court citing “serious security lapse” on the part of some officials.
Sanjay Baniwal, director general (prisons), who ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter, said that prima facie, these four officials have been found responsible for Malik’s physical production before the top court.
“I’ve already ordered a detailed inquiry in the matter to be conducted by deputy inspector general (prisons headquarters) Rajiv Singh to fix the responsibility of erring officials. He has been asked to submit his reports in this connection by Monday as it was a serious lapse on the part of jail officials,” Baniwal said.
“We have a clear-cut instruction to produce Malik through video conferencing only. Instead, Malik was produced in person before the court. It’s definitely a gross lapse on our part. The erring officials will not be spared,” Baniwal added.
Despite a ban on the physical production of a terrorist, Malik, who is serving life imprisonment in a terror funding case, appeared in the Supreme Court under police escort on Friday, with the solicitor general Tushar Mehta terming it a “major security lapse” in a letter written to the Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
Mehta sought action against prison officials stating “how the separatist leader was allowed to step out in the absence of any order or authorisation from court warranting his presence”.
The solicitor general urged the Union home secretary to take the matter seriously and take suitable action as Malik is not an ordinary person but “a man with terror and secessionist background who was convicted in a terror funding case last year”.
Malik had arrived at the Court to appear in an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, challenging a September 2022 order passed by a TADA court in Jammu, which required his personal presence in the trial relating to the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel in Srinagar in 1990 and the 1989 abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The Supreme Court on April 24 had stayed this order, thereby issuing notice to the respondents, including Malik to appear either in person or through an authorised lawyer. However, the order did not provide for his personal presence.