High Court Rejects Anticipatory Bail to Jail Employee Who is Charged with Giving Convict a Phone

Assistant Superintendent Tarsem Pal of Faridkot Central Jail is accused of accepting ₹1.63 lakh as a bribe from the wife of a prisoner for providing a mobile phone and related accessories to a drug case convict housed in the jail. The High Court of Punjab & Haryana has denied Pal temporary protection from arrest.

The First Information Report (FIR) was filed on October 2, 2021, following the discovery of a video purportedly shot by a prisoner, which contained accusations against jail staff for allegedly giving drugs and phones to the inmates with their help. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ferozepur, was instructed to investigate the issue and conduct a preliminary inquiry in the wake of the controversy. The investigation had suggested filing a formal complaint.

Gurjeet Singh Brar, a deputy superintendent of jail, and Gurtej Singh, a warden, are also named in this case’s allegations.

Pal was accused of giving one phone, three necessary pad phones, and other mobile accessories to Vishal Kumar, a prisoner, twice in 2019 and 2020 for ₹1.2 lakh, which was allegedly paid as a bribe through the inmate’s wife, Baljit Kaur. After that, ₹43,000 was taken from them via an online transfer, according to the investigation.

Pal had petitioned the high court in November, claiming that all of the accusations in the video were untrue and were made by a convicted felon who was a repeat offender. Pal was seeking temporary protection from arrest. Additionally, it was claimed that although the FIR was filed in 2021, the allegations related to 2019 and 2020.

“A review of the investigation, which is undergoing preliminary evidence linking the petitioner, is adequate to necessitate his detention for questioning in order to uncover the complete scheme of providing cell phones, etc., in the prison. Judge Anoop Chitkara noted, “The investigation clearly demonstrates that the petitioner was a key player in their illegal financial transactions, and he dismissed the plea.

The Court noted the investigation’s conclusions, which revealed that Pal and the convict’s wife had spoken on the phone several times and that an assistant superintendent thought it “unusual” for a jail inmate’s wife to stay in contact with him.

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