A video emerged on Saturday showing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi minister Satyendar Jain receiving a massage inside Delhi's Tihar Jail.
Jain is in jail as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are investigating him for disproportionate assets and money laundering. The ED's case against Jain is based a 2017 CBI case lodged under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The PTI reported that the CBI alleged that Jain as a Delhi minister during February 2015-May 2017 acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
In the leaked clip said to be from Tihar Jail's CCTV footage, Jain is shown receiving massage as he reads papers on a bed. Later in the clip, he is joined four-five others and is seen having a conversation with them.
Earlier, Tihar Jail Superintendent Ajit Kumar was suspended for providing alleged special treatment to Jain. It has long been alleged that Jain had been receiving special treatment in jail.
"The Enforcement Directorate had, during arguments during Jain’s bail hearing related to the alleged money laundering case, told a Delhi court he abused his power in jail as he was provided with fresh cut fruits and massages inside. It was also alleged that Jain had discussions with unknown persons inside his cell," reported The Indian Express.
Jain and his fellow accused were denied bail on Thursday.
India Today reported that the video that emerged on Saturday is old and action has already been taken against the concerned officials.
"Unknown persons were giving massages and foot massages to Jain, even beyond curfew hours. He was given special food," said Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju to court on behalf of ED, as per India Today, which added that the ASG shared certain CCTV images with the court and alleged that most of the time Jain was either in hospital or in jail enjoying various facilities.
BJP flags VIP treatment, calls for Jain's sacking
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lashed out at Jain and AAP for the videos.
BJP National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, "So instead of sazaa (punishment), Satyendar Jain was getting full VVIP mazaa (fun)? Massage inside Tihar Jail? Hawalabaaz who hasn't got bail for five months get head massage! Violation of rules in a jail run by AAP government. This is how official position [is] abused for Vasooli and massage, thanks to Kejriwal.
"One more. All rules thrown to the dustbin! VVIP treatment in jail! Can Kejriwal defend such a mantri (minister)? Should he not be sacked? This shows true face of AAP! Vasooli and VVIP Massage inside Tihar Jail! Tihar is under AAP government."
One more— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) November 19, 2022
All rules thrown to the dustbin!
VVIP treatment in jail! Can Kejriwal defend such a Mantri? Should he not be sacked ?
This shows true face of AAP!
Vasooli & VVIP Massage inside Tihar Jail! Tihar is under AAP govt pic.twitter.com/psXFugf7t5
Jain getting physiotherapy, BJP using injury for politics: AAP
Responding to the video and BJP's comments, AAP said Jain has a spine injury and he is undergoing physiotherapy for it.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the BJP is mocking Jain's injury for political gains.
The PTI quoted him as saying, "He [Jain] had sustained an injury to his spine and even underwent two surgeries. The doctor had advised physiotherapy upon discharge and those videos show him getting physiotherapy. They (BJP) are losing the MCD and Gujarat polls and that is why they are resorting to such cheap theatrics. They should fight the MCD elections in Delhi on issues."
The elections to the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are scheduled on December 4 and results will be out on December 7. In Gujarat, elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and votes will be counted on December 8.
The AAP has turned the traditional bipolar contest between the BJP and the Congress in Gujarat into a triangular contest this time. It mounted an intense campaign with a focus on embarrassing the BJP which has held the state for over two decades. Retaining power in Gujarat is an issue of prestige for the BJP as it is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it was during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat that he became popular to project himself as the prime ministerial candidate in 2014.