The superintendent of Delhi’s Tihar prison has been issued a notice for transferring two prisoners to the cell of former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister, Satyendar Jain after he cited “loneliness”. Satyendar Jain, who has been in the high-security jail following his arrest last year, had requested the prison administration to lodge him with more inmates. He had cited depression due to loneliness and the need for more social interactions in his letter, which he said was advised by a doctor. He requested the company of at least two more people and even mentioned two names in the letter. Two prisoners were then moved to the former minister’s cell by the Superintendent of Jail No. 7.
However, prison officials said they were immediately shifted back to their respective cells after the administration came to know about it. An official said, “Action has been initiated against the Superintendent of Jail No. 7 for transferring two prisoners to the cell of former Delhi minister Satyendar Jain who requested to lodge him with at least two inmates citing depression and the need for more social interactions. Inmates were immediately transferred back.”
Last year, a prison official was suspended for alleged VIP treatment to the former minister. The action was taken after the Enforcement Directorate submitted CCTV footage to a court, alleging that Mr. Jain was enjoying a luxurious lifestyle in jail and influencing investigations by regularly meeting the co-accused in the case. In the video, Satyendar Jain was seen getting a massage from a man inside his cell and chatting with other inmates, none of which is allowed inside the prison. He was also seen eating fruit salad, bringing his complaint about the food quality in jail under question.
Another video clip showed Mr. Jain relaxing in his bed when he was visited by three people in casual clothing. His party explained the massages as physiotherapy and said that home-cooked meals had been cleared by doctors and courts.
The former minister was arrested on May 30 last year by the Enforcement Directorate. The probe agency had initiated the money-laundering investigation in the case based on a First Information Report or FIR registered by the CBI on August 24, 2017.
the issue of VIP treatment in Indian jails, where politicians and high-profile individuals often receive preferential treatment, which is against the law. It also raises questions about the quality of mental health care available to prisoners in Indian jails, as many suffer from depression and loneliness due to prolonged periods of isolation.