Court Dismisses Arrested Delhi Minister's Plea For "Special Food"

Tihar Jail Authority stated that our administration supplies a balanced and nutritious diet uniformly to all the prisoners lodged in Delhi Prisons irrespective of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex etc.

Court Dismisses Arrested Delhi Minister's Plea For 'Special Food'

Satyendra Jain was arrested by ED in May (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi Court on Saturday dismissed the plea moved by jailed Delhi minister Satyendar Jain for having special food as per his religious beliefs.

The court, while passing the order, stated that Tihar Jail's records prima facie show that its officials, were providing preferential treatment to Satyneder Jain by providing him fruits and vegetables, being a minister of the Delhi government, in violation of DPR 2018.

On Satyender Jain claimed that he has lost 28 kgs of weight in Tihar, Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Saturday stated that the loss of weight Satyender Jain is on account of his not consuming regular food and that Tihar Jail Administration is not responsible for the same.

"No ground is made to direct DG (Prison) and Superintendent, Tihar Jail to provide fruits, vegetables and dry fruits to the applicant Satyendar Kumar Jain. Accordingly, the application is dismissed," said the court.

Special Judge Vikas Dhull also said, "I would like to observe that as and when the applicant shows his desire to observe a religious fast, as enjoined by his religion, then he shall inform the jail administration about the same in writing and thereafter, the jail administration will decide the request of the applicant, keeping in view of Rule 1142 of DPR 2018 and in case, the applicant is permitted to keep a religious fast, then he shall be provided food articles as allowed by the order of the Government as per Rule 341 of DPR 2018."

There is no ground made out to interfere with the advice of the medical officer dated November 11, 2022, stopping the dry fruits of Satyender Jain, the court said after noting that the medical officer is the best person, who can advice the prescribed diet to the prisoners after observing the health of the inmates/prisoners.

The very fact that applicant is now purchasing fruits and vegetables from the jail canteen w.e.f. November 3, 2022, as per the bills filed on record by the Tihar Jail Administration and has filed this application after suspension/transfer of officials of Tihar Jail administration prima facie establishes on record that the incumbent Tihar Jail Officials have stopped providing preferential treatment to the applicant, which was being given earlier to the applicant, in violation of the DPR 2018, noted the court.

Tihar lawyer Abhijeet Shankar during arguements, made clear that the dry fruits in prisons are not permitted to a prisoner and also could not be taken as an alternative to a regular meal. However, if the dry fruits are prescribed by the Medical officer for a certain period of time as a supplement in such circumstances the same may be permitted for such prisoners for a limited period of time.

In its reply, Tihar Jail Authority stated that our administration supplies a balanced and nutritious diet uniformly to all the prisoners lodged in Delhi Prisons irrespective of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex etc.

The court earlier had also sought a report from Tihar as to what food was being given to Satyendar Kumar Jain in the past six months, whether he was on a religious fast during the course of the previous 5-6 months and whether the diet, which was being given to him has been stopped during the past 10-12 days or not.

Tihar further stated that it is also wrong to expect the prison administration to give special treatment to an inmate(s) as the prison department provides a nutritional and balanced diet to all inmates without any discrimination on caste, creed, religion etc.

The Delhi Court on Saturday dismissed the plea moved by jailed Delhi minister Satyendar Jain for having special food as per his religious beliefs.

The court, while passing the order, stated that Tihar Jail's records prima facie show that its officials, were providing preferential treatment to Satyneder Jain by providing him fruits and vegetables, being a minister of the Delhi government, in violation of DPR 2018.

On Satyender Jain claimed that he has lost 28 kgs of weight in Tihar, Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Saturday stated that the loss of weight Satyender Jain is on account of his not consuming regular food and that Tihar Jail Administration is not responsible for the same.

"No ground is made to direct DG (Prison) and Superintendent, Tihar Jail to provide fruits, vegetables and dry fruits to the applicant Satyendar Kumar Jain. Accordingly, the application is dismissed," said the court.

Special Judge Vikas Dhull also said, "I would like to observe that as and when the applicant shows his desire to observe a religious fast, as enjoined by his religion, then he shall inform the jail administration about the same in writing and thereafter, the jail administration will decide the request of the applicant, keeping in view of Rule 1142 of DPR 2018 and in case, the applicant is permitted to keep a religious fast, then he shall be provided food articles as allowed by the order of the Government as per Rule 341 of DPR 2018."

There is no ground made out to interfere with the advice of the medical officer dated November 11, 2022, stopping the dry fruits of Satyender Jain, the court said after noting that the medical officer is the best person, who can advice the prescribed diet to the prisoners after observing the health of the inmates/prisoners.

The very fact that applicant is now purchasing fruits and vegetables from the jail canteen w.e.f. November 3, 2022, as per the bills filed on record by the Tihar Jail Administration and has filed this application after suspension/transfer of officials of Tihar Jail administration prima facie establishes on record that the incumbent Tihar Jail Officials have stopped providing preferential treatment to the applicant, which was being given earlier to the applicant, in violation of the DPR 2018, noted the court.

Tihar lawyer Abhijeet Shankar during arguements, made clear that the dry fruits in prisons are not permitted to a prisoner and also could not be taken as an alternative to a regular meal. However, if the dry fruits are prescribed by the Medical officer for a certain period of time as a supplement in such circumstances the same may be permitted for such prisoners for a limited period of time.

In its reply, Tihar Jail Authority stated that our administration supplies a balanced and nutritious diet uniformly to all the prisoners lodged in Delhi Prisons irrespective of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex etc.

The court earlier had also sought a report from Tihar as to what food was being given to Satyendar Kumar Jain in the past six months, whether he was on a religious fast during the course of the previous 5-6 months and whether the diet, which was being given to him has been stopped during the past 10-12 days or not.

Tihar further stated that it is also wrong to expect the prison administration to give special treatment to an inmate(s) as the prison department provides a nutritional and balanced diet to all inmates without any discrimination on caste, creed, religion etc.

On the other hand, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appeared for Satyendar Jain after reading Tihar's reply, and submitted, "Under what provision they say I can't go for indefinite fasting? We're in a country where everyone is free to profess their own religion. No one can actually stop me from professing my religion. I am not even getting basic food in jail, are my human rights also taken away?"

Earlier, Rahul Mehra also denied ED allegations of Jain getting privileged treatment in Tihar Jail, he asked, "What privilege are they talking about? I have lost 28 kgs in jail. Is this what a privileged person in jail gets? I'm not even getting proper food. What privilege are they talking about? No prison rules are violated if an undertrial is pressing his hand or feet."

He earlier also submitted that they (agencies) had already put me on the gallows. Even Ajmal Kasab got a free and fair trial.

"I am surely not worse than that. All I seek is a fair and free trial. Please look at the kind of media reports that are running against me and that is in their interest," Mehra submitted to the court.

Last week, Satyendar Jain moved a Special court with an application seeking contempt action against the Enforcement Directorate. Jain's legal team alleged that the ED had leaked the CCTV video despite the undertaking given in the court.

On the other hand, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appeared for Satyendar Jain after reading Tihar's reply, and submitted, "Under what provision they say I can't go for indefinite fasting? We're in a country where everyone is free to profess their own religion. No one can actually stop me from professing my religion. I am not even getting basic food in jail, are my human rights also taken away?"

Earlier, Rahul Mehra also denied ED allegations of Jain getting privileged treatment in Tihar Jail, he asked, "What privilege are they talking about? I have lost 28 kgs in jail. Is this what a privileged person in jail gets? I'm not even getting proper food. What privilege are they talking about? No prison rules are violated if an undertrial is pressing his hand or feet."

He earlier also submitted that they (agencies) had already put me on the gallows. Even Ajmal Kasab got a free and fair trial.

"I am surely not worse than that. All I seek is a fair and free trial. Please look at the kind of media reports that are running against me and that is in their interest," Mehra submitted to the court.

Last week, Satyendar Jain moved a Special court with an application seeking contempt action against the Enforcement Directorate. Jain's legal team alleged that the ED had leaked the CCTV video despite the undertaking given in the court.


 

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