The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of alleged middleman Sukesh Chandrashekar, arrested in the Election Commission bribery case involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dinakaran. Justice S Muralidhar turned down Chandrashekar’s bail application on the ground that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession which was a “serious threat on Parliament’s security”. “I am not inclined to grant bail to the accused. The recovery of forged identity card of a member of Parliament is not an ordinary forgery. The police is investigating into the issue,” the judge said.
The court said a person holding the identity card (ID) of an MP can easily enter the Parliament house which is a “serious threat”. Chandrashekar has moved the high court challenging the trial court’s June 9 order that denied him relief saying the probe showed he was the key accused.
His counsels M Theepa and A K Pandey submitted before the court that he should be granted relief on grounds of parity with Dinakaran, who is out on bail. Besides Dinakaran, his close aide Mallikarjuna,suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar have been granted bail.
Delhi police counsel Mukesh Kumar also vehemently opposed the accused’s bail plea, saying a fake Rajya Sabha member ID with security features were seized from him. The counsel submitted that he cannot be granted bail as it has to be ascertained who gave him the ID in his name.
The police also informed the court that they have added Sections 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC to an FIR registered in the case. The police claimed in the court that they have to investigate Rs 2 crore sent through hawala channel. Of this, Rs 1.3 crore was recovered from Chandrashekar at the time of the raid. He was arrested on April 16 for allegedly taking money from co-accused Dinakaran to bribe Election Commission (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 was arrested in New Delhi on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol. His faction had hoped to obtain the symbol for the bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat, which was later cancelled by the EC after the alleged irregularities were reported.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who represented the constituency. 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. Dinakaran has been accused of arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels.