Raja stands in queue, attends roll call in Tihar Jail

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - At 6 a.m. Friday, former communications minister A. Raja, arrested in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam, stood in a queue with other inmates attending a roll call in Tihar Jail.

An hour later, he had a cup of tea and read a newspaper in the VIP ward of Jail Number 1, where he will be staying for the next 14 days.

According to Tihar authorities, Raja is not being given any VIP treatment and is treated like a normal inmate.

“He woke up at 6 a.m. and attended the roll call with other inmates. He was given tea at 7 a.m. and he asked for a newspaper,” Sunil Gupta, Tihar spokesperson, told IANS.

He had his home-cooked breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon.

Raja has been put in the VIP ward of Jail Number 1 for security reasons.

Gupta said generally undertrials sent to jail by judges at Patiala House district courts are put in Jail Number 4 but in this case, Raja was put in Jail Number 1 as it is the most secure and the oldest of jails in the Tihar prison complex.

“He is staying alone in the cell,” said R.N. Sharma, deputy inspector general, prisons, Tihar Jail.

The former communications minister was Thursday sent to 14 days’ judicial custody by a Delhi court.

Raja was arrested Feb 2 for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, which caused huge losses to the national exchequer, and remanded to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody initially for five days.

On Feb 8, his remand was extended for two more days after the probe agency told the court that he was not cooperating during questioning.

The former minister’s custody was extended by two more days Feb 10 on the CBI’s plea. Thereafter, the court again extended his custody with the CBI for three more days.

Raja, a member of the DMK, is alleged to have sold spectrum licences at below market rates, causing a loss of Rs.22,000 crore to the national exchequer, according to the probe agency.

He was asked to resign Nov 14 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General indicted him in the scam for causing the nation huge losses.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed