Megha Suri & Neha Lalchandani
30 Nov, 2006, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
NEW DELHI: Union coal minister Shibu Soren is not the only one who "fell ill" on the way to prison. Jail officials say that this is a common ploy used by 'influential' prisoners to keep out of the jail routine — Pappu Yadav, HKL Bhagat, Kalpnath Rai, Sukhram being a few cases in point.
Sources say that once an accused has been sent to judicial custody by a court, the only way to avoid the hardships of prison is to develop a medical problem. "And chest pain seems to be the best getaway as it can't be challenged. Any person complaining of chest pain has to be referred to a hospital which has ECG facility and a heart specialist on its panel, which the prison hospital does not," said a prison official, who didn't wish to be identified.
Once the prisoner reaches hospital and undergoes the check-up, jail authorities say they try and "enter into an understanding with the doctor on duty, wherein they are prescribed hospitalisation mostly till they manage to get bail." The doctors succumb under monetary or muscle pressure.