Had Mangoes Only Thrice, Says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal; Was It As Per Approved Diet Chart? Asks Court

Update: 2024-04-19 10:09 GMT
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A Delhi Court on Friday (April 19) said that it will examine if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal followed the Court-approved diet chart while accepting home-cooked food in judicial custody. The Court made the oral observation while reserving order on an application filed by Kejriwal for administering insulin to him in jail and allowing consultation with his doctors through VC. Kejriwal...

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A Delhi Court on Friday (April 19) said that it will examine if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal followed the Court-approved diet chart while accepting home-cooked food in judicial custody. 

The Court made the oral observation while reserving order on an application filed by Kejriwal for administering insulin to him in jail and allowing consultation with his doctors through VC. Kejriwal sought permission to consult his doctor through video conferencing daily for 15 minutes with respect to his acute diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar level. He also sought to allow his wife to join and remain present on VC.

It was submitted on behalf of Kejriwal that mangoes were sent to him in judicial custody in home-cooked food only thrice, out of the total 48 meals.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi made the submission while objecting to the allegation made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) yesterday that Kejriwal is intentionally having mangoes, sweets and tea with sugar in jail to increase his sugar level. 

The central probe agency had claimed that the Chief Minister was doing so to create a ground for bail.

Singhvi told Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Courts that mangoes have been made to look like “sugar bullets” by ED and that Kejriwal was sent “aaloo poori” only once as Navratri prasad in jail.

They said I used sugar with tea. I used sugar free in my tea. Because I am a diabetic…. How petty and political and ridiculous ED can get,” Singhvi said.

Singhvi said that being a prisoner does not mean that Kejriwal does not have right to health. “Is he a gangster? Is he a hardcore criminal? That he cannot get 15 minutes VC daily (with his doctor),” he said.

Singhvi added:We have had democracy for 75 years... but I have never heard, much less seen, such kind of pettiness.”

Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta also appearing for Kejriwal objected to ED's presence and said that the central probe agency has no role to play as the issue is between the Chief Minister and the jail authorities.

Why ED should be here? They are having press conference before coming here. For the first time I'm seeing a special counsel appearing for jail authorities….Aam kha raha hain aam aadmi. Arey kya khaenge? Mushroom khaenge? Aaj Hindustan Times me aadha front page bhara hua Hain. Kya chahte hain ye? (Aam aadmi is eating mango. What will aam aadmi eat? Mushroom? Today half front page in Hindustan Times is filled. What do they want?),” he said.

Zoheb Hossain, special counsel for ED, submitted that the very fact that allegations of mala fide have been made by Kejriwal in his application, makes the central probe agency a party to the same. “They have made pleadings which necessarily require me to make submissions,” he said.

Hossain said that the diet prescribed to Kejriwal has no reference to any sweet or fruits or sweet items. He added that the Chief Minister was prescribed a “very regulated and restricted diet” which had no mention of any sweet foods. 

“Therefore it has direct relation to his submission that he has an alarming rise in sugar level,” Hossain said.

The counsel appearing for Tihar jail authorities informed the court that Kejriwal said that he was taking insulin earlier but stopped taking it sometime back. 

On the whole, blood sugar levels have been maintained. Although he is claiming he is getting home cooked food, as rightly pointed out by special counsel for ED, the prescription has no stipulation that there should be some fruits etc. He is not following prescribed diet in the food sent from his home,” the counsel said.

He added: Please see, the portions and food that he has to avoid and mango is one of them. He should follow this diet plan. And the sugar level is maintained. If he has insulin now, the sugar level will drop drastically. There are some instances when there is a hike but otherwise it's completely maintained….Please see the AIIMS report. The food that has to be avoided are mangoes, banana, chiku etc….Home cooked food should follow this diet prescribed by AIIMS.”

The court then asked Singhvi if the home-cooked food was sent to Kejriwal as per the diet chart allowed by the court on April 01.

Singhvi said that the diet chart was followed with a small exception that mangoes were sent three times and aloo poori once in prasad.

The deviations are certainly there. And they are without order of the court…At the moment I am only looking at compliance of court order,” the court remarked orally.

The counsel for jail authorities told the court that it is not that Kejriwal is not being monitored in jail or is facing any difficulty. Medical facilities are provided to him, he said.

At this stage, Gupta raised an objection that an email was sent by jail authorities to ED stating the information about the food given to Kejriwal, without a court order. He contended that the jail authorities could not have passed on information regarding Kejriwal's diet to the ED without a court order.

The court upon hearing the arguments, reserved its order on Kejriwal's application and asked the jail authorities and ED to file their replies by tomorrow. The order will be pronounced on Monday.

The Chief Minister said that since his judicial custody, his blood sugar levels are fluctuating at an alarming rate due to acute diabetes, which is posing high risk to his health.

The application states that the jail authorities in collaboration with ED, sought to do media trial by alleging that his sugar level is rising because of his diet in jail. It added that ED made an issue about a small portion of fruit (mango) sent thrice in about 48 meals that were sent to Kejriwal.

That ED has tried to shield Jail Authorities by falsely alleging that sweets were consumed to raise sugar level, knowing fully well that such item was a sugar-free item. That ED also made an absolutely false statement that applicant is having tea laced with sugar to spike up his sugar levels,” the plea stated.

Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the night of March 21. His judicial custody is expiring on April 23.

On April 10, the Delhi High Court dismissed Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest, observing that ED was able to place enough material, statements of approvers and AAP's own candidate stating that Kejriwal was given money for Goa elections.

The Delhi Chief Minister has challenged the said order of the Delhi High Court bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma before the Top Court. The Supreme Court has issues notice on the plea but refused to grant any interim relief.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are also accused in the case. While Sisodia continues to remain in jail, Singh was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court pursuant to a concession given by the ED.

ED has alleged that Arvind Kejriwal is the "kingpin" of Delhi excise scam and is directly involved in the use of proceeds of crime accounting to over Rs. 100 crores.

It is ED's case that the excise policy was implemented as part of a conspiracy to give wholesale business profit of 12 percent to certain private companies, although such a stipulation was not mentioned in the minutes of meetings of Group of Ministers (GoM).

The Central agency has also claimed that there was a conspiracy that was coordinated by Vijay Nair and other individuals along with South Group to give extraordinary profit margins to wholesalers.

Nair was acting on behalf of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, according to the agency.


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