Former telecom minister A. Raja had jail food, slept on the floor last night in Tihar prisons and was up at 6 a.m. on Friday to attend the roll call like any other prisoner.
The 47-year-old high-profile inmate of Jail No.1, arrested for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, is mostly keeping to himself, a senior jail official said.
“The former minister did not hesitate to eat food cooked inside the prison kitchens. He ate rice, dal, rajma and vegetables [for] dinner. He was provided seven blankets to make his bed on the floor and did not throw any tantrums,” he said, adding Mr. Raja was not given any special treatment.
The minister is sharing the ward with former Delhi ACP S.S. Rathi, convicted in the 1997 Connaught Place shootout case, and other prisoners.
Rathi is serving life term following his conviction by a Delhi trial court on October 24, 2007 in the case of killing of two businessmen.
“Raja followed the prison rules and woke up at 6 a.m. today. He went through all the English dailies before having his morning tea. He did not interact with any prisoner after entering his ward and kept reading,” the official said.
But on Friday, he went out of his cell for a stroll inside the prison premises. He spoke to Ravi Kant Sharma, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar, the official said.
After sustained custodial interrogation for 14 days at the CBI headquarters, Mr. Raja was on Thursday sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody by a Delhi court till March 3.
Mr. Raja, who resigned in November last year following uproar over the scam, was arrested on February 2 along with former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and his former personal secretary R.K. Chandolia for their alleged role in 2G spectrum allocation scam, which, as per CBI, has caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state exchequer.
The former minister is alleged to have manipulated rules to favour some telecom companies, including Swan Telecom and Unitech Private Limited, in allocation of the spectrum at throwaway prices.