File No. 20/WBHRC/Com/2013-14


   It was reported in some of the leading dailies that on 27.04.2013 an U.T.P. Santosh Sahani (21) was kept with his left leg tied with a handcuff at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital on 16.04.2013. The Commission took suo motu cognizance and asked for a detailed report from the Inspector General of Police, North Bengal Region.

          As directed a detailed enquiry report was submitted by Shri Anuj Sharma, IPS, Inspector General of Police, North Bengal Region, Siliguri vide his memo. no. 365/IGNBR dated 01.05.13. So far as the enquiry report goes, it is admitted that the prisoner Shri Santosh Sashani was handcuffed to the hospital bed of the male medical Ward-II and the reason behind the instant case was that the number of guards on duty was insufficient and so on a safer side to prevent any case of escape the prisoner was handcuffed. But the Inspector General of Police, North Bengal took the matter seriously; made in-depth study  and put up the following recommendations :-

  1. Issue of show-cause notice for violation of human rights against the Correctional Home Warders guarding the prisoner such as Shri Rakesh Pradhan and four others.
  2. Construction of a new separate fifteen-bed male prisoners’ ward and a separate five-bed female prisoners’ ward in the NBMC&H.
  3. As an immediate measure a separate ward may be identified for accommodating the prisoners. In no way they will be kept in General Ward.
  4. A better co-ordination is required between Civil Authorities, the Siliguri Police Commissionerate, NBMC&H and Correctional Home Authority for ensuring proper guards of the prisoners.

        The Commission had gone through the enquiry report and also of the recommendations made therein by Inspector General of Police, North Bengal Region and sent the same to the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal vide its memo. no. 313/WBHRC/Com/20/13-14 dated 08.05.13 for taking necessary action. In turn the Home Department quickly responded to the recommendations and requested the Inspector General of Correctional Homes, West Bengal to offer his prudent views and report on the recommendations.

         Again the Home Department vide its memo no. 279-HS/HRC/Recom(WB)-14/13 dated 12.02.14 conveyed us a memo. no. 5387/HRC-70/13 dated 27.12.13 received from I.G. of Correctional Services, West Bengal wherein it is mentioned (i) Show-cause notice was issued against the erring Correctional Home Warders and also the departmental proceedings were drawn  against them, (ii) A plan for the construction of new separate prisoners’ ward is lying with the PWD Authority (iii) The process for conversion of a separate ward into a prisoners’ ward  as an immediate measure has already been started by the PWD authority (iv) A co-ordination meeting on regular basis is being held among the concerned authorities. Again it is further informed that henceforth no prisoner is to be  handcuffed in future either through medical treatment in any hospital or through production before any Ld. Court.

         Lastly, the Commission feels that Shri Anuj Sharma, IPS, Inspector General of Police, North Bengal Region needs to be appreciated for his in-depth enquiry into the matter and also for pertinent recommendations.  

                                                                                Special Secretary
                                                           West Bengal Human Rights Commission

Date : September 25, 2014