A Delhi Court today took strong exception to jailed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Satyendar Jain requesting Tihar Jail officials to provide him with a special diet in keeping with his religious beliefs. Dismissing his plea, the court also ruled that jail authorities cannot be held responsible for his weight loss.
Special judge Vikas Dhull dismissed the application, noting Tihar Jail administration's submission that no special facility is provided to any prisoner and the minister was allowed to avail only those facilities as allowed under law, like any other inmate.
The application from the jailed minister had also sought a direction from the court to prison officials to immediately conduct the minister's medical check-up and alleged that he was not being provided with basic food and medical facilities inside the prison, leading to weight loss.
Dismissing the minister's plea, the Rouse Avenue Court said the minister did not take enough food right from his first day in jail and ruled that the authorities at Tihar Jail cannot be held responsible for his weight loss.
Mr Jain was arrested in a money laundering case in May this year, based on an FIR lodged against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"Satyendar Jain did not even follow the advice of the medical officer. He did not take regular food, due to which he lost weight," the court observed.
Mr Jain had requested the jail authorities to provide him with fruit and vegetables on days when he has to fast as part of his religious beliefs.
However, dismissing the request, the court said that the minister was being accorded a special treatment by the jail authorities. The court said that it appeared that "Satyendar Jain was being given fruit in violation of jail rules".
The court said that providing fruit and vegetables to Satyendra Jain in jail was in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
"Prima facie, it appears that in the appropriate order of Tihar Jail DG or any authority, the staff of Jail No 7 has given fruit/fruits to Satyendra Jain in violation of DPR 2018," the court said in its order.
The court further said that according to the affidavit filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 21, about 26 officers of Jail No 7 of Tihar Jail were transferred and the Superintendent of Jail 7 was suspended.
The court said that these officials had violated the norms by providing vegetables to the jailed minister.