Known officially as the Cell, it is meant to be a self-contained accommodation unit with a living room-sized 10x10 feet with an attached bathroom, toilets and two entrances.
For the 11,000 inmates at the 400-acre campus of the central Tihar jail complex, where space and privacy are rare luxuries, a Cell is commonly referred to as a 'one-bedroom apartment' and as such is a contentious, though a priority, issue for the inmates.
To make the eligibility criteria for an inmate's admission to such a Cell "transparent and uniform", new rules have been framed to weed out complaints of bias or irregularities.
Tihar authorities, said a source, have got complaints from inmates against alleged bias shown to a few candidates who got the Cells.
"We have issued instructions to jail superintendents that there should be uniformity in the eligibility criteria for entry to a Cell," Tihar jail's Director General (prisons) B.K. Gupta said.
He added, "As per the new rules, only such inmates will get access to a Cell who are under threats, are police officers or government servants or are ill, have contagious diseases, need privacy for higher studies or are senior citizens."
A Cell is meant for an inmate but usually houses four of them. There are 8-to-50 Cells at each sub-jails. Unlike a Cell, the jail's other accommodation unit, called barracks, house between 50 to 80 inmates.