Two Delhi-based brothers, lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail in connection with an alleged multi-crore international cricket betting racket, on Tuesday sought “drinkable or mineral water” in the prison. The accused have written to a court, arguing, “If undertrial prisoners can get food and cloth from outside, why can’t they get drinkable or mineral water.”
Through a written application, the brothers — Ritesh Bansal and Ankush Bansal, both in early 30s and residents of Shashtrinagar in New Delhi — told the special PMLA court that they are not getting drinkable water in the jail. They stated that due to salinity in the water their “tongues have turned white”.
In the two-page letter, they have said there is only one RO (reverse osmosis) machine installed in the jail, and the filters of the water purifier are not clean and “because of the salinity the filters can’t be cleaned”. “The salinity and pollution in the water is harmful for the health,” the brothers said.
“By drinking saline water our tongues have turned white. We fear that if we keep drinking such water, we will be affected by water-borne diseases soon. Therefore, by keeping out health and rights in mind, there should be an arrangement for drinkable or mineral water,” the plea said.
The brothers argued that they were still accused and caught on mere suspicion. The letter said like undertrials get food and cloth of their choice from outside, they should also be allowed drinkable or mineral water.
The court has issued a notice to Enforcement Directorate officials. Sources in the agency said that providing packaged water to the accused, who are currently in judicial custody, was not their responsibility. The officials are likely to file the reply on Wednesday.
The brothers were caught by the ED sleuths on May 10 from Gurgaon for allegedly betting on IPL matches. The ED has alleged that the two were part of an international cricket betting racket having links with bookies based in Pakistan and the UAE.
Bansal brothers were arrested for money laundering. The ED has found in its investigation that Ritesh is a history-sheeter who was chargesheeted by Mumbai police in 2013 as accused no-16 in the IPL match fixing and betting case in 2013. Ankush was arrested for the first time. The brothers are allegedly connected to Gujarat-based bookies Kiran Mala and Tommy Patel, who were also arrested by the ED.