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The Delhi High Court on Thursday (July 19) said that the defacement of Mandoli jail should be given adequate attention by the civic authorities besides other issues faced by Central jail.

The bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar further directed the authorities to publicise the rules for defacement of property while also advising them to peruse its judgement in Prashant Manchanda case in which they had passed directions regarding defacement.

During the course of the proceedings, other issues being faced by the jail were also raised. Petitioner said: “There are illegal factories running around the Mandoli jail causing smoke over the jail covering it under the clouds of smoke by burning tyres.”

The bench directed the authorities to take action.

To which EDMC replied that it will look into the matter.

Another issue which was brought up by the petitioner was the poor quality of food served in the jail.

The bench enquired about it from the jail authorities.

The jail authorities replied that the supply of milk has been ordered by Mother Diary.

Delhi govt’s counsel said that the DIG has been instructed to look into the issue.

The bench was further informed about the illegal and unauthorised illegal activities around the jail by the amicus  Sumer Kumar Sethi and SHO of the area Sanjeev Kumar who said that everyone in the area were disturbed due to the pollution and smoke emanating from waste burnt by factories and scrap dealers just outside the prison’s jail no. 13 and 14.

To which the bench directed DPCC to take a survey of the area around Mandoli and identify the polluting units. SHO shall assist the DPCC and EDMC wherever necessary.

About the food quality, the bench directed Sethi and DIG of Mandoli jail to examine the food quality and medical emergencies facilities.

In regards to drainage and garbage around the jail, the bench directed EDMC to ensure that these are regularly checked and status report be filed.

It also directed the Delhi govt’s counsel to file the status report on the finalization of Jail manual of Mandoli.

At the end, the bench also directed Delhi Police and Delhi govt to publicize the rules and regulation related to defacement of property and file action taken report.

“Public also need to know that defacement not only relates to drawing paintings on the wall but also pasting posters on the wall leads to attract penalties and make the persons liable under the Defacement of property,” the bench said and adjourned the matter for next hearing to August 2.

The bench was hearing the plea raising concern over the “inhuman conditions” and inadequate medical facilities in the Mandoli jail.

—India Legal Bureau

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