Court orders officers not to use leg cuffs and shackles on inmate

Picture: FILE

THE High Court has ordered that prison officers must stop transporting inmate Deshwar Kishore Dutt from prison to the courtrooms in leg cuffs or shackles.

High Court judge Justice Anare Tuilevuka made the ruling after a notice of motion was filed by Dutt on August 28 last year.

The motion had sought an order from the court that the mechanical restraint applied to Dutt in the busy corridors of the High Court premises in Lautoka be removed while he was being conveyed from the escorting vehicle to court and inside the courtroom.

The motion was filed pursuant to section 15 (1) (2) and 26 (3)(a) of the Constitution of Fiji 2013.

In his ruling, Justice Tuilevuka said as a “high risk” prisoner, Dutt was to be handcuffed and escorted by two officers in accordance with commissioner’s local orders.

He said when Dutt was presented to court, the escorting officer must remove his handcuffs.

He also ordered that if the escorting officer felt that Dutt should remain in handcuffs in court, an appropriate application should be made to the court.

Justice Tuilevuka said he was of the view that even accepting that Dutt was “high risk” seemed rather excessive to have to put him on leg cuffs as well as handcuffs and a heavy leather belt around him when transporting him to court.

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