With trial courts starting their almost month-long summer break on Saturday, the 13 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam are all set to face the hard life in Tihar jail.
As part of their routine, the 2G scam accused, including political bigwigs like former telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi and various corporate honchos, used to appear before the court on every working day at 10 am in the morning and would stay till 5 pm. They would then go back to jail for the night.
During the day, the families of all the accused would come and sit with them in the air-conditioned court till the end. However, with the court of special CBI judge O P Saini not functioning till July as part of its summer break, the accused will not be able to meet their relatives on a regular basis.
Unlike the daily meetings in the courtroom, relatives of the accused will only be allowed to meet them twice a week for half an hour. As per the Tihar jail manual, only three people, including one family member, can meet an accused at a time. This is in complete contrast with the court, where any number of family members could come and stay with the accused till the evening.
The advent of holidays for the courts did not seem to be happy news for relatives of the accused as many of them were seen hugging each other on Friday. While Kanimozhi's mother sat beside her during the hearing, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa's mother was seen hugging her son before he was taken away by the police.
All the accused have now been summoned on July 4 and till then, they will be lodged in Tihar jail. Sunil Gupta, Tihar jail spokesperson, said that during the twice-a-week meetings, families of the accused can give coupons worth Rs 1,500. These coupons can be used by the accused inside the jail. Meetings with the lawyer, however, do not figure in the 'mulaqat days' and are done in the evenings.
All the meetings are done in the presence of jail staff inside a room.