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AAP’s Satyendar Jain ‘misused’ his position to meet wife, get special treatment in jail: Inquiry panel

The committee set up by Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena last month; the Delhi govt says he has no power.

Jain has been in custody since May in connection with the alleged money laundering case being investigated by the ED

An inquiry committee constituted by Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena on alleged “special treatment” given to jailed AAP minister Satyendar Jain has found that he “violated norms” and “misused” his position and authority to meet his wife, family members and co-accused in the alleged money laundering case.

The committee comprising the Principal Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary (Law) and Secretary (Vigilance) was formed last month following a complaint by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in court that Jain was allegedly being provided special treatment at Tihar jail. Jain has been in custody since May in connection with the alleged money laundering case being investigated by the ED.

Purported videos of Jain in jail were released on social media last month, showing him getting a massage, eating, interacting with two men in jail, and two other men cleaning what is allegedly the minister’s cell.

Reacting to the report, Delhi government officials said: “The L-G had no power to set up this committee. The committee and its report are illegal. L-G is acting like Aurangzeb. He should realise that India has a Constitution and he is bound by the same.”

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In the report, the committee said, “After watching the video clippings, the committee prima facie found evidence of violation of norms of jail and special treatment to Satyendar Jain against basic norms of discipline in the jail. Apparently, it was found (to be) against… provisions of Delhi Prison Rules, 2018.”

Following the committee’s recommendations, jail superintendent Ajit Kumar was recently suspended by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar for allegedly providing “lavish/preferential” treatment to Jain. Besides, several other officers were also transferred by the DG (prisons).

The committee, in its report, also noted there was “collusion” between the jail administration, the then DG prisons and Jain. It recommended “disciplinary action” and “departmental proceedings” against jail superintendent Ajit Kumar, a warden and then DG prisons, for allegedly providing “special treatment” to Jain.

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The report also points out that Jain “frequently” met his wife and other family members in September and October. “The entry is unusual and video footage, if preserved, would reveal what transpired after their entry. There is no record provided by jail administration as to under whose orders this entry was permitted. Again, this could have not happened (if not) for the collusion of the jail superintendent and the then DG (prisons),” the report states.

The report further states that five inmates, including the undertrial accused in a POCSO case who allegedly gave a massage to Jain in his cell, were “pressured” to provide “menial” services to the minister.

Further, the committee said DG (Prisons) should identify any other officers/officials involved and take action expeditiously. “The committee holds that Satyendar Jain, inmate and minister, is involved in violation of norms and rules of the prison and misuse of his official position and authority, which enabled him to enjoy special treatment/facilities in the jail,” the report stated.

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AAP was not available for immediate comment on the report. Tihar officials had earlier said a committee of secretaries will look into the “massage” video and other allegations and take appropriate action.

First published on: 02-12-2022 at 06:12 IST
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