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Jail diary: Exercise, TV, case papers and jokes

delhi Updated: May 10, 2011 01:14 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
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The 37-year-old begins his day at 5am, with an hour of free-hand exercises and then takes a brisk walk in the ward garden. Occasionally, Shahid Balwa's eyes wander towards the 16-inch TV set kept in a corner of his 15ft-by-10ft cellroom. A spartan breakfast later, Balwa pores through either Hindi newspapers or voluminous case documents. Balwa, the then director of Swan telecom, was arrested by CBI in 2G spectrum scam case.

Lodged in sub-jail number 4, Balwa, like other high profile inmates in the prison, has been instructed by jail authorities to not venture outside his ward without escorts.

Vinod Goenka, 50, co-director of Swan Telecom who too was arrested in the spectrum scam, is lodged in sub-jail 3. He is "fond of Hindi newspapers and TV programmes, especially based on Bollywood," claimed a jail source.

His neighbouring cellmate, Sanjay Chandra, Unitech MD, likes to spend time alone at times. "He shares his worries over how his parents might be coping after his arrest with co-inmates," said the source.

Balwa, Chandra, Goenka and former telecom minister A. Raja-lodged in sub-jail 1-also take time out to pore through case documents to answer the queries asked of them by their lawyers. "I tell my clients to prepare their answers to around 5-10 queries all weekdays, as our hearings happen daily," said lawyer Vijay Aggarwal who represents Goenka and Balwa.

At sub-jail 4, Suresh Kalmadi, OC former chairman, is known to be chatty with wardens and sewadars, sharing jokes and anecdotes. Kalmadi, India's former sports czar, is not known to play badminton or any other sports, said the source.

"As security measures, we have asked these inmates not to go outside their wards or to take escorts if they have to" said Director General Neeraj Kumar.