From having to share their cell and toilet with other prisoners like bootleggers and sleeping on the ground, disgraced Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju and his brother B Rama Raju are now entitled to benefits like a special room, cots, pillows, a separate toilet and kitchen.
Ever since they were sent to Chanchalguda Central Jail in Hyderabad for the massive Rs 70 billion fraud, the Raju brothers were being treated as ordinary prisoners.
They will now enjoy special class prisoner status following an order by a city court on Friday on a plea moved on behalf of the accused.
The Rajus will now get a special cell, cots, pillows, mattresses, sheets, mosquito nets, a separate kitchen, toilet, newspapers, pen, writing pads and television. They can also have home food.
The disgraced founder and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd Ramalinga Raju and former managing director Rama Raju were being treated as ordinary prisoners ever since their arrest on January 9 on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and falsification of records.
The court passed the orders on Friday on the basis of an inquiry conducted by Hyderabad district collector, who certified that Rajus were used to a certain lifestyle.
It was exactly a month ago (January 7) that Ramalinga Raju quit as Satyam chairman while admitting to the Rs 70 billion fraud, the biggest in India's corporate history.
Sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate D Ramakrishna had reserved orders on the special status petition on January 16. The counsel for Rajus had sought the special treatment under rule 730 of the Andhra Pradesh Prisons Rules, saying they had stature in society and were used to a certain lifestyle.
The prosecution, however, opposed the same and remarked that those who made money at the cost of the poor didn't deserve such privileges.
Having committed such a "monumental fraud", the Rajus do not enjoy any status as such and the question of a special status in jail does not arise, additional public prosecutor Ajay Kumar had contended.