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SC Questions “Parallel System” in Tihar as TV, Mineral Water Found

Advocate Vishal Gosain, however, has denied that his clients the Chandras were violating any jail rules.

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Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 22 November, expressed serious concern over media reports of Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay, currently lodged in Tihar jail, for receiving comfort services inside the jail.

The top court noted that the real estate group owners, who allegedly cheated 500 home buyers, have been provided TV, crates of mineral water and other household items.

“Is it parallel system running in jail?” the top court asked during the hearing on Thursday.

Earlier in May 2018, a senior officer at the Tihar Jail had found six cellphones, bottles of perfume, imported chocolates, 73 packets of ready-to-eat food and biscuits in a Toyota Innova parked inside the Tihar jail compound. This vehicle was parked at the jail number 1 parking lot, reported Hindustan Times.

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The driver of this SUV said his name was Vikrat Mahant. It was later discovered that he had been employed by Ajay and Sanjay Chandra owners of Unitech Ltd who have been in prison since April 2017.

Unitech Ltd is a real estate firm and the Chandra brothers have been in prison for allegedly duping over 500 home buyers, reported Hindustan Times.

In October 2018, the Supreme Court had allowed them to work from a makeshift office in Tihar jail and use video conferencing facilities in order to arrange a Rs 750 crore deposit for grant of bail. However, when the police officers inspected the room allotted to them for this purpose inside the jail they found more perfume bottles, chocolate boxes, one mini refrigerator, two cellphones, two cordless phones and two desktop computers.

A Tihar jail spokesperson said that there will be an inquiry into the role of jail officials in this activity, reported Hindustan Times.

There is no way the car driver would have managed to sneak the items found in the car inside the prison. The driver would have to go through a body search before entering the gate of jail number 1. In prison, we do not allow any inmate to misuse the facility, which is why the items have been detected by the jail officers. We will match the items recovered from the office with those of the facilities allowed by the court.
Tihar Jail Spokesperson

Advocate Vishal Gosain, however, has denied that his clients the Chandras were violating any jail rules.

About the articles in the car, Gosain told HT:

We have nothing to do with the cell phones found in the car. It must be that of the employees (of the clients). The employees are there to ferry clients from the jail’s main gate to jail number 1 so they must have kept the biscuits and food packets. It is natural. We do not know about the chocolates and the perfume. Maybe they were using it.

He also asserted that the phones and the computers found in the makeshift office have been allowed by the court and denied the presence of the chocolates, perfume bottles and the mini refrigerator.

The refrigerator has nothing to do with my clients; it may have been there from before. This is a ploy by some jail officers. Earlier last month, our clients had filed a complaint against one head warder who was demanding money. That head warder has been transferred and is planting fake stories. There was a fake news report about my client and their wives partying inside prison. The truth is the two women were out of the country (at the time).

According to the HT report, Gosain asserted that his clients have arranged close to R80 crore and have also put up 600 acres of land for auction to raise the money.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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