Tihar authorities file reply in court on AAP minister Satyendar Jain’s food issue

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) A Delhi court on Thursday adjourned hearing on AAP minister Satyendar Jains food issue till 3 p.m. on Friday. The court, on Wednesday, had sought a reply from the Tihar Jail authorities regarding Jains complaint about not getting food items as per his religious beliefs.

Jail counsel Abhijit Shankar said, “First of all he is observing a particular fast which he didn’t inform jail authorities about.” Shankar contended that the nuts Jain is asking for have never been given to any inmate in the jail’s history and they cannot be given.

Shankar informed the court that Jain had used another inmate’s card to buy things. “There is an inquiry being conducted and we have identified the prisoner,” he said.

He argued that dry fruits cannot be a substitute for the main meal just because Jain is on a religious fast. He mentioned the jail senior medical officer’s report of November 11, where the doctor has asked Jain to have a proper meal.

Moreover, according to Shankar, dry fruits are not given to anyone. They are provided only when the medical officer allows it or in cases of foreigners when the embassy seeks it. Shankar said that the Tihar Jail administration supplies a balanced and nutritious diet uniformly to all the prisoners irrespective of caste, creed, sex, etc.

“It’s wrong to expect the prison administration to give special treatment to an inmate. He can take fruits and vegetables if he wants to,” Shankar said.

Following Satyendar Jain’s plea against the jail authorities for not providing him basic food items, the Rouse Avenue court had given him relief in this matter on Wednesday. The court had said that Jain will continue to get food as per his religious beliefs. The court said that this arrangement will continue till it decides on the matter.

On Wednesday, Jain said that he is still an undertrial prisoner and not a convict. He cannot be treated this way and made to starve or relinquish his religious beliefs and be denied his basic medical needs.

His application also stated that for the last 12 days, the jail authorities have stopped serving him raw fruits, vegetables, and dry fruits, prescribed by his doctors.

Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case and charged with corruption in May this year, was denied bail last week.

–IANS
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