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Chequered past doesn't mean prisoner can be harassed: HC

High Court orders probe into an inmate's allegations that Taloja jail officials beat up an alleged Arun Gawli aide and transferred him to Arthur Road jail to hush up the matter

A prisoner of Arthur Road jail made an anxious plea in court alleging that Taloja jail authorities thrashed Dinesh Narkar, an aide of alleged criminal-turned-politician Arun Gawli, and broke his leg.

Taking cognizance of the letter, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered the Mumbai Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to visit the prisoner and verify his allegations.

Jayprakash Singh, an inmate of Arthur Road jail, stated in the letter, "On 3rd December, 2011, the staff and authorities of Taloja jail badly thrashed Narkar, breaking his leg � the jail authorities are trying to hush up the matter and have transferred him to Arthur Road jail. He is a bit mental but this does not mean that the authorities are allowed to treat him like an animal. Please visit the jail and see for yourselves. But when you go there, do not go with the jail staff, but bring your own."

Past matters
Narkar has two MCOCA cases registered against him, in addition to seven violations under the prison manual.

The application was heard by a bench comprising Justices VM Kanade and PD Kode, while advocate Manjiri Parasnis acted as amicus curiae. While hearing the arguments of Public Prosecutor A S Pai, who referred to Narkar's past offences, Justice Kanade observed, "A chequered past does not mean that he can be harassed."

Pai then said that Singh had made several baseless allegations against Taloja jail officials in the past.

The incident took place the same day that Narkar had apparently attacked a jail staffer.

Jail staff attacked
According to reports, Narkar was upset with jail official Suryakant Patil, as he did not permit him to interact with other accused in the jail. Patil was hospitalised with an injured nose.

Extortion case
Narkar was arrested in 2008 for extorting Rs 10 lakh from a builder, allegedly having dragged him at gunpoint to Dagdi chawl and demanding that he pay up.

Inmate's letter states
"On 3rd December, 2011, the staff and authorities of Taloja jail badly thrashed Narkar, breaking his leg... the jail authorities are trying to hush up the matter and have transferred him to Arthur Road jail. He is a bit mental but this does not mean that the authorities are allowed to treat him like an animal. Please visit the jail and see for yourselves. But when you go there, do not go with the jail staff, but bring your own."

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