New Delhi: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who was brought to the Tihar jail on Thursday evening, will get no special facilities, except a separate cell and a Western toilet as specified by the court, prison officials said.
Like other inmates, he will also have access to the prison's library and can watch television for a specified period. After the mandatory medical check-up, Chidambaram was lodged in Jail No. 7, which usually houses those accused in Enforcement Directorate cases. Incidently, his son Karti was also lodged in this cell for 12 days in the same case last year.
He had a light dinner and his medicines on his first night in jail, sources said. The cell was prepared in advance, with the jail authorities anticipating that the senior Congress leader might turn up in view of the ongoing court cases against him, they said. Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is being probed by the ED in connection with the AgustaWestland and a bank fraud case, is also lodged in this jail.
A prison official said food is usually served to the inmates between 7 and 8 pm but it is kept aside for those who arrive late due to court procedures. The usual dinner menu is rotis, dal, sabji and rice. Chidambaram will be lodged in the cell from 9 pm to 6 am. Breakfast will be served between 7 am and 8 am, the official added. Officials said he can either drink water from a Reverse Osmosis plant or purchase packaged bottle from the canteen.
"He will also have access to the prison's library and also watch television, just like a normal inmate," the official added. Chidambaram, who was also the home minister during UPA 2, was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Thursday in the INX Media corruption case. The veteran Congress leader was brought to Asia's largest prison from the Rouse Avenue Court amid high security. It took nearly 35 minutes for the jail authorities to bring Chidambaram to the prison from the court.
As the police van ferrying Chidambaram was being tailed by the media, jail authorities tried to hide his face with a document. He was taken inside the jail from gate no 4 of the prison. Later, his son Karti, along with lawyers, were also seen outside the jail. "He is being given a separate cell and can use western toilet as specified by the court order," a jail official said. The court allowed him to carry his spectacles, prescribed medicines to the jail and directed that he be kept in a separate cell in the Tihar prison as he is a protectee under Z-security.