A court in Delhi today took strong objection to imprisoned Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Satyendar Jain requesting Tihar prison officials to feed him a special diet in line with his religious beliefs. The court rejected his plea and also ruled that prison authorities cannot be held responsible for his weight loss.
Special judge Vikas Dhull rejected the application and took note of the Tihar Jail administration’s claim that no special facility is provided to a prisoner and the minister was allowed to use only those facilities permitted by law like any other prisoner.
The imprisoned minister’s request also centered on a court order for prison officials to immediately carry out the minister’s medical checkup, alleging that he was not provided with basic food and medical facilities in prison, leading to weight loss.
The Rouse Avenue court rejected the minister’s plea, saying that the minister had not consumed enough food since his first day in prison and ruled that the Tihar prison authorities cannot be held responsible for his weight loss.
Mr Jain was arrested in May this year in a money laundering case, based on an FIR filed against him in 2017 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“Satyendar Jain did not even follow the doctor’s advice. He did not eat regularly, so he lost weight,” the court noted.
Mr. Jain had requested the prison authorities to give him fruits and vegetables on days when he has to fast as part of his religious beliefs.
However, the court rejected the request, saying that the minister received special treatment from prison authorities. The court said it appeared that “Satyendar Jain was given fruits in violation of prison rules”.
The court said that providing fruits and vegetables to Satyendra Jain in jail was against Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
“On the face of it, it appears that in the proper order of Tihar Jail DG or any other authority, the staff of Prison No. 7 gave fruits/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 Nov. 21, about 26 officers of Prison No. 7 of Tihar Prison were transferred and the Superintendent of Prison 7 was suspended.
The court said these officials had violated standards by providing vegetables to the imprisoned minister.
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