M A I N   N E W S

Raja lives by the rules in Tihar Jail
Kumar Rakesh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
Accused of tweaking rules to favour a few telecom companies at a massive loss to the exchequer, former communications minister A Raja is living by the rule inside Tihar Jail, where he spent the first night of what could be a long stay behind bars. He was sent to the jail for 14 days by a special court yesterday.

Lodged in a high-security VIP ward, Raja was out of his cell by 6 am today, a jail official said, and stood in the queue with other inmates for the roll call. Then he had tea and read newspapers, spoke to a few inmates who had wished him and had the staple jail food of roti and daal.

Tihar Jailís Law Officer Sunil Gupta told The Tribune that the court might have allowed him to have home-cooked food but he could have it only twice a week, as per the jail manuals. Like any other jail inmate he cannot have non-vegetarian food.

Raja complained of not getting a sound sleep which, officials said, was not uncommon for somebody like him, used to all the luxuries of life. 

He can spend time in the jailís rich library, common room or park between 6 am to 12 noon and then the period between 12 noon and 3 pm is to rest inside cell, a spacious 15 by 10 feet for him, which is quite large going by the average dimensions of the cells at Tihar jail.

He spent time reading books he has brought with him but was not very chatty, officials said. 

However, Raja would not get to spend time with his two former aides, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria and former personal secretary R K Chandolia, who have been lodged in different premises.

Jail Number 1, where the former minister has been kept, is not meant for accused like Raja, who is not even chargesheeted yet, but his profile required that he be lodged in the high-security ward, which has earlier housed another former telecom minister Sukhram and godman Chandraswami among others.

Raja was out of his cell by 6 am 
Stood in the queue with other inmates for the roll call
Had the staple jail food of roti and daal
Complained of not getting a sound sleep 
Spent time reading books he has brought with him but was not very chatty





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