He was taken into custody from the HC premises by an assistant police commissioner of Azad Maidan police station vacation bench Judge, Justice Madhav Jamdar directed the police to hand over Jain’s custody to the Superintendent of the Civil prison at Byculla in Mumbai.
Vacation court bench of Justice Jamdar said, “The Prisons Act, 1894 defines “civil prisoner” means any prisoner who is not a criminal prisoner under sub-section (4) of section 3. “Criminal prisoner” is defined under sub-section (2) of section 3 as meaning “any prisoner duly committed to custody under the writ, warrant or order of any Court or authority exercising criminal jurisdiction or by order of a Court- martial. Thus, it is clear that the Petitioner (Jain) is a civil prisoner”
Justice Jamdar directed the Prison superintendent to comply with rules governing such prisoners, including section 27 (4) that requires civil prisoners to be segregated from criminal inmates and section 31 ( civil prisoner is allowed to maintain himself, receive private (home) food, clothes, bedding) and the directions issued earlier in 2018 by the HC.
Jain’s advocate Ashok Paranjpe said he identifies Jain and requested the HC to direct the prison officials to ensure that he is kept separate from criminal undertrials or convicts and also to allow him home food and medicines, as well as bedding and own clothes, toiletries. He cited a 2018 Bombay high court order and the Civil Jails Act to say prisons can be kept open between 9am to 3pm to enable its inmates to have visitors and pleaded similar directions for Jain too.
But government lawyer Abhay Patki pointed to the 2018 order and said the Civil Jails Act and provision for visitors applies to prisons outside Mumbai, as even the HC had earlier noted. Patki said since it is a sentence under civil contempt, he will be sent to the Civil Prison which is at Byculla.
In March the SC had held Jain guilty for wilful disobedience of its October 2021 order and of a Bombay High Court order dated August 8, 2019 that had stayed an arbitral award against him subject to him depositing in 12 weeks, 50 percent of the award. He is involved in a dispute with Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund over a Share Purchase Agreement.
Justice Jamdar told Paranjpe, “I hope your client knows he still has to pay the amount. The sentence is not going to take that away.’’ Paranjpe said he is aware.
Paranjpe said Jain and the Fund have been making efforts to settle. He also said Jain paid up the RS 5 lakh fine that the SC imposed, on May 24. The HC directed the registry to immediately transfer Rs 1 lakh as directed by the SC to the State Legal aid services and Rs 4 lakh to the Fund.