New Delhi — The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mr. S.L. Khanna on Thursday called for comments from the Tihar Jail authorities on a petition by Indira Gandhi’s assassin, Satwant Singh, alleging that the cell where he was lodged was bugged with a hearing device.

In the petition, counsel for Satwant Singh also complained that they found it ‘“‘very convenient’”” to interview the accused on February 22, permission for which had been granted by the court.

Counsel P.N. Lekhi and R.S. Sodhi had to wait for about an hour at the jail superintendent’s office before being let into ward No. 1, where Satwant Singh was lodged, the petition said.

The magistrate ordered that the jail authorities submit their comments on the allegations by March 2.

Counsel Sodhi said in the petition that the accused had a right to have an interview within the sight and beyond the hearing of the third party.

He added, from a visual examination from outside the grill (of the cell in ward No. 1 where Satwant is lodged) it is apparent that the cell is bugged with hearing device.

“Two police constables of the Tamil Nadu Police on guard duty in ward No. 1 kept standing right on the head of both counsel. They stood hardly half a meter from the said counsel.”

Another’ difficulty, counsel said, was that the relevant documents had not been made available to the accused.

Counsel sought permission for an ‘‘unobstructed interview” with the accused in the open outside the cell on March 1.



Article extracted from this publication >> March 15, 1985