The Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of a middleman, arrested in the Election Commission bribery case allegedly involving AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran and others. Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed the bail application of middleman, Sukesh Chandrashekar, who was arrested on April 16 last year and was denied bail once by the high court and thrice by the trial court.
The Delhi Police had opposed his bail plea saying his conduct, even while in custody, had shown scant respect for the law and therefore, he should not be granted the relief. Additional Public Prosecutor Hirein Sharma had told the court that three more cases were registered against Chandrashekar while he was in custody and there were a total of 24 FIRs lodged against him.
Referring to the new FIRs lodged against him while he was in custody, the prosecutor had said while Chandrashekar was supposed to be taken by train, he was going by air along with nine policemen, all of whom were dismissed from service. The lawyer had also claimed that the accused had made a call to the trial court judge hearing the case, impersonating a person from a Supreme Court judge’s office and asked her to release him on bail.
The call was traced to a constable’s phone while Chandrashekar was in custody, the prosecutor alleged. Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog and advocate Anand Pandey, appearing for Chandrashekar, had contended that the alleged main beneficiary, Dinakaran, was already out on bail and the same relief was granted to the policemen.
They said the other accused in the case, including Dinakaran’s close aide Mallikarjuna, as well as suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar were on bail. The high court had on June 15 last year rejected his bail plea on the ground that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession.
A charge sheet was filed by the police before the trial court in the case on July 14 last year, alleging that Dinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for their party. The police has also included in the charge sheet allegations of forgery for purpose of cheating, using forged document as genuine, possessing a forged document, intending to use it as genuine and criminal conspiracy.
Chandrashekar has also moved a separate plea in the high court alleging he was tortured despite an order not to subject him to violence inside the Tihar Jail where he is in custody. The claim was denied by the jail authorities, who said it was an “afterthought of the shrewd mind of the accused”.
Chandrashekar was arrested for allegedly taking money from Dinakaran to bribe EC officials to get the AIADMK ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala faction in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu. Dinakaran, also charge-sheeted by the police, was arrested here on April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions–one led by Dinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam staked a claim to it. Mallikarjuna was arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between Dinakaran and Chandrashekar.