Jain moves CBI court to search for food according to his religion

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Imprisoned Delhi minister Satyendar Jain has filed a petition with the CBI tribunal asking the prison authorities to provide him with basic foodstuffs in accordance with his religious beliefs and allow him access to medical facilities in the prison.

In his petition, Jain claimed that he had lost 28 kg in the last six months since his arrest, which clearly indicates his debilitating state of health.

He said in the petition that he had not been able to visit the Jain temple since his arrest on May 31 this year and therefore being a strict religious observer he was fasting and had no food cooked, legumes, cereals and dairy products. “Due to the withdrawal of the fruit provided to him, he has lost an alarming 2kg in weight in the last week,” he alleged in the petition.

Meanwhile, a city court will hear his contempt plea against the Law Enforcement Branch on Tuesday for allegedly leaking CCTV footage of his jail cell to the media.

The case, which was due to be heard on Monday, was adjourned to Tuesday because the judge was on leave.

Jain alleged in the petition that in the past 12 days, the prison service has stopped providing Jain with basic food items in accordance with his religious belief.

Since he has been on a religious fast for six months because he was dependent on eating uncooked fruits/vegetables, mixed seeds, dried fruits and dates in prison. He is starved by the prison authorities and receives no food or nourishment to maintain his well-being.

The petitioner added that an inmate does not cease to remain a human being even after being punished. And that he is currently on trial and as such cannot be starved to death, renounce his religious beliefs and be denied basic medical conditions.

“He argued that the restriction on liberty imposed by law does not take away the right to life, health and dignity enshrined in the Constitution of India and that he is entitled to the basic human rights behind bars. Jain had to go to court after the prison authorities refused to comply with his request regarding these demands,” the petition states.

At the same time, the petitioner was due to undergo a medical examination including MRI scans on October 21, 2022 and the prison authorities did not allow him to do so, citing one excuse or another, ultimately delaying him until now for 30 days. He argued that prison authorities as such cannot suppress the right to life and health, physical or mental, as provided for in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, they said.

“He asked the court to give instructions to the prison administration to immediately carry out his medical examination, including the MRI which is due,” said the head of the AAP.

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