As reported by PTI in zeenews.india.com on 14 Sep 2011:
http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/...an_731572.html

Blade slashings: HC for security in jail van

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday askedthe city police chief to deploy adequate personnel whiletaking undertrials from Tihar to different courts following aplea by an inmate to check incidents of blade slashing in thejail van.

A division bench of Chief Justice Deepak Misra and JusticeSanjiv Khanna directed the police commissioner to provideadequate staff in jail van within 10 days and Tiharauthorities to supply twin blades instead of surgical bladesto barbers employed by it to ensure that surgical blades donot reach the prisoners.

"We hope the Commissioner of Police will take the matterseriously and take action accordingly," the bench said whilehearing a PIL initiated suomotu by it on receipt of a letterfrom a Tihar inmate that incidents of "blade bazi" (bladeslashing) in jail van have been reported frequently.

According to the undertrial, he obtained informationthrough an RTI application that 56 such cases have beenreported between 2005 and 2009.

The court's order came after the Deputy InspectorGeneral (Prison) R N Sharma, who appeared following itsearlier order, submitted that the jail authority has takenseveral measure to avoid entry of blades inside the jailpremises.

Sharma told the bench that the jail authority had procureddeep search metal detectors, besides 250 CCTV cameras whichwill be installed by November 15.

According to the DIG, two body scanners have beeninstalled on trial basis for a thorough search of each inmate.

The earlier system of issuance of coupons to prisonerswould be shortly replaced with the smart cards so thatwhatever items the prisoners buy from jail canteen wouldbe known to the higher officials, Sharma said.

In addition, the senior officer informed the bench thatat times it was found that the blades were supplied by familymembers of the undertrials in the fruits and food itemsspecially in the vegetable curry.

"Now, the jail authority is allowing only dry fruitsand cooked dry vegetables," Sharma said.

Further supply of sedatives for psychiatric patients injail have also been streamlined as blades were found with thesedatives," he added.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions alleging thejail authority's failure to restrict use of mobile phones andother itmes including blades by inmates endangering thelives of other prisoners.

Meanwhile, in yet another petition from an inmate it wasalleged that the jail authority has prevented them fromobtaining clothes, shoes and other articles from relativeswhich is arbitrary.

It was also alleged that in Tihar canteen besides egg, noother non-vegetarian food items was available for theprisoners.

Citing the Bombay High Court ruling allowing the jails toprovide non-vegetarian food twice a week to the prisoners, thepetitioner said the decision of Tihar jail is against theprisoners' fundamental right to live. PTI PNM According tothe DIG, two body scanners have beeninstalled on trial basis for a thorough search of each inmate.

The earlier system of issuance of coupons to prisonerswould be shortly replaced with the smart cards so thatwhatever items the prisoners buy from jail canteen wouldbe known to the higher officials, Sharma said.

In addition, the senior officer informed the bench thatat times it was found that the blades were supplied by familymembers of the undertrials in the fruits and food itemsespecially in the vegetable curry.

"Now, the jail authority is allowing only dry fruitsand cooked dry vegetables," Sharma said.

Further supply of sedatives for psychiatric patients injail have also been streamlined as blades were found with thesedatives," he added.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions alleging thejail authority's failure to restrict use of mobile phones andother items including blades by inmates endangering thelives of other prisoners.

Meanwhile, in yet another petition from an inmate it wasalleged that the jail authority has prevented them fromobtaining clothes, shoes and other articles from relativeswhich is arbitrary.

It was also alleged that in Tihar canteen besides egg, noother non-vegetarian food items was available for theprisoners.

Citing the Bombay High Court ruling allowing the jails toprovide non-vegetarian food twice a week to the prisoners, thepetitioner said the decision of Tihar jail is against theprisoners' fundamental right to live.