New Delhi: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who spent his first night on Thursday at the Tihar prison's Jail No. 7 after a court sent him to two-week judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case, started his day with a light breakfast on Friday.
The Congress leader was brought to the jail on Thursday evening and he has got no special facilities, except a separate cell and a Western toilet as specified by the court, prison officials said.
Like other inmates, he will also have access to the prison's library and can watch television for a specified period.
After the mandatory medical check-up, Chidambaram was lodged in Jail No. 7, which usually houses those accused in Enforcement Directorate cases. Incidentally, his son Karti was also lodged in this cell for 12 days in the same case last year.
On being asked about any specific preparations, Director General of Prisons, Sandeep Goyal told IANS that "A jail is a jail. We only follow the court's orders. No one lodged in jail is special."
He said Chidambaram would be treated as a normal prisoner.
Chidambaram is facing trial for financial crimes and is also aged above 60 but Goyal only said "We will do what the jail manual says," as he brushed aside any security concerns.
Jail number-7 houses 600-700 inmates, the majority of whom are jailed for crimes against women though the block has traditionally been used to house economic offenders.
The cell was prepared in advance, with the jail authorities anticipating that the senior Congress leader might turn up in view of the ongoing court cases against him, the officials said.
Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is being probed by the ED in connection with the AgustaWestland and a bank fraud case, is also lodged in this jail.
Chidambaram, who was also the home minister during UPA 2, was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Thursday in the INX Media corruption case.
The veteran Congress leader was brought to Asia's largest prison from the Rouse Avenue Court amid high security. It took nearly 35 minutes for the jail authorities to bring Chidambaram to the prison from the court.
The court allowed him to carry his spectacles, prescribed medicines to the jail and directed that he be kept in a separate cell in the Tihar prison as he is a protectee under Z-security.
Delhi Court adjourns Aircel-Maxis case against P Chidambaram sine die
A Delhi court on Friday adjourned Aircel-Maxis case, involving former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti, sine die, noting that the CBI and the ED were seeking repeated adjournments.
Special Judge O P Saini adjourned the matter without giving any date for further hearing, saying that the prosecution may approach the court as and when the probe is complete.
The court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to Chidambarams in the corruption case filed by the CBI as well as in the money laundering matter lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in relation to the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The matter was listed for arguments on the cognizance of charge sheet in the case.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the CBI and the ED respectively, sought adjournment on the ground that response to Letters Rogatory(LRs) were awaited.
The agencies requested the court to adjourn the matter for the first week in October.
"Prosecution seeking date after dates. Matter deferred sine die. The prosecution asked to approach the Court as and when the investigation is complete and as and when they receive Letters Rogatory (LRs) from various countries," the court said.
CBI and the ED are probing how Karti Chidambaram received clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was Union finance minister.
CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that the Congress leader, as finance minister during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefitting certain persons, and received kickbacks.
(With input from Agencies)