Jain seeks injunction as more 'leaked' jail videos emerge; BJP says he appears to be in holiday resort

NewsDrum Desk
23 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) Fresh videos of Delhi minister Satyendar Jain emerged on Wednesday showing him eating uncooked vegetables and fruits in his Tihar prison cell, with the BJP alleging that those jailed for corruption charges were enjoying facilities of a "holiday resort" under the 'Kejriwal model'.

Jain, who is in the eye of a political storm over leaked videos purportedly showing him getting massages and other special facilities in jail, urged a court here to restrain media from running any video footage from inside his prison cell.

A Delhi court, meanwhile, directed jail authorities to provide food to Jain during his religious fast in accordance with the relevant rules and asked for details of meals provided to him in the past six months, after his counsel had claimed that he was being denied the kind of food he partakes during his fast.

The videos that surfaced on Wednesday are dated September 13 and October 1. The petition, filed on Monday, claimed the jail administration had stopped providing him with basic food that is eaten during a fast under his religion for the last 12 days.

There was no immediate reaction to the fresh videos by the Aam Aadmi Party. It had jumped to the minister's defence when earlier videos were released, saying Jain was receiving physiotherapy as he had suffered a spinal injury in jail.

"The CCTV footage from Jain's cell in Tihar negates his claims of not getting proper food in jail. He has been getting the food of his choice, including fruits and dry fruits, as the video shows," a source said.

The source said that contrary to Jain's lawyers' claim that he lost 28 kg during his time in jail, he has gained 8 kg.

Sources close to Jain said that the minister has not been consuming cooked food, grains and milk products owing to his religious practice of not having cooked food without visiting the temple.

The BJP cited the videos to step up its attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said that there are prison manual rules for food and medical services in jail.

"Facilities like television, packed food and massage in Jain's cell show as if he is in some holiday resort," she said.

Lekhi also hit out at Kejriwal and accused him of "failing" to solve the problems of Delhi and instead campaigning in poll-bound states for AAP's expansion to achieve his aim of becoming prime minister.

"The Yamuna river has been soiled by cleansing sins of the Kejriwal government," she added.

Union minister Anurag Thakur said that under the "Kejriwal model", a Delhi minister facing corruption charges was enjoying "five-star luxuries" in prison.

"The Health minister of AAP in Delhi has been in jail for the past six months and is enjoying entertainment and massage. How luxuries are enjoyed in jail and how entertainment and massage are done, AAP is a live example of it.

"They tell lies. They talk about problems related to prison food but get food plates better than (those available in) five-star hotels in jail. They get mineral water and massages there," Thakur told reporters in Jaipur.

The Union Information and Broadcasting minister said this was the model of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal where five-star facilities were provided in jail.

"Arvind Kejriwal gives a certificate of honesty to such people who are in jail for the past six months. This is Kejriwal's model," Thakur said.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri demanded that Lt Governor V K Saxena ensure that Jain does not receive any facilities against the rules.

He said that Kejriwal has lost all"morality and conscience" by continuing to retain Jain in the Cabinet and allowing him to enjoy the salary and perks of the post.

In the court, Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Wednesday directed the jail authorities to provide food to jailed AAP minister during his religious fast under the relevant rules and to file their reply by Thursday containing details of food provided to Jain in the past six months.

Jain's counsel also told the court that despite Tuesday's hearing on the leak of videos of him from jail, another video was leaked Wednesday morning and urged it to restrain media from running any video footage from inside his prison cell.

Special Judge Dhull issued a notice to Tihar Jail authorities on Jain's plea and directed the prison officials to file their reply by Thursday when the court will hear the matter.

His lawyers later claimed that the videos may be doctored.

The Enforcement Directorate had affirmed before the court on Tuesday it had no role in leaking the videos of Jain, including the one where he was seen receiving massage by a fellow prisoner, who is an accused in a rape case, inside his prison cell. PTI VIT/SLB UK BUN SLB RT RT

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