The Bombay High Court on Monday questioned the delay in filing of FIR in Byculla jail inmate Manjula Shetye's death case. Pulling up the Maharashtra government, the High Court sought an explanation on why jail officials failed to act until an inmate filed a complaint.
A bench comprising Justice RM Savant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav questioned the motive behind jail authorities waiting for another inmate to file a complaint instead of acting on their own. The FIR in the case has been filed on the basis of another prisoners' complaint and the court sought explanation on the same.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Petition filed by a citizen who alleged that Manjula was assaulted and murdered by jail guards for complaining about the bad food. The PIL sought an inquiry into the corruption in food supplies in jails in the state. The court was told that an FIR in the case was registered after 36 hours of Manjula's death.
The court was also appraised of the discrepancies in the FIR and the post mortem report. While the FIR claimed the time of death to be 7 PM, post-mortem reveals that it was 6.30 PM. The petitioner expressed his concerns over the possibility of manipulation during post mortem.
So far, six staff of the Byculla jail have been arrested in connection with the case. CCTV footage that was presented to the court, showed how Manjula was dragged by her hair to the barracks in the final moments of her life.