AIADMK-EC bribery case: Delhi HC reserves order on middleman’s bail pleahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/aiadmk-ec-bribery-case-delhi-hc-reserves-order-on-middlemans-bail-plea-5017889/

AIADMK-EC bribery case: Delhi HC reserves order on middleman’s bail plea

Chandrashekar was arrested for allegedly taking money from Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials to get the AIADMK 'two leaves' symbol for the Sasikala faction in a bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.

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The Delhi High Court (Express Photo by Ravi Kanojia/Files)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its decision on the bail plea of a middleman, arrested in the Election Commission bribery case allegedly involving AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others.

“Judgement reserved,” Justice Mukta Gupta said after concluding hearing the arguments on behalf of the alleged middleman, Sukesh Chandrashekar, and the Delhi Police which has opposed the grant of bail to him.

The police argued that his conduct, even while in custody, had shown scant respect for the law and therefore, he should not be granted the relief. It told the court that three more cases have been registered against Chandrashekar while he was in custody and there are a total of 24 FIRs lodged against him.

Referring to the new FIRs lodged against him while he was in custody, the prosecutor said while Chandrashekar was supposed to be taken by train, he was going by air along with nine policemen, all of whom have been dismissed from service.

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The lawyer also claimed that the accused had made a call to the trial court judge hearing the case, impersonating as 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, contended that the alleged main beneficiary, Dhinakaran, was already out on bail and the same relief was granted to the policemen. They said the other accused in the case, including Dhinakaran’s close aide Mallikarjuna, as well as suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar, were on bail.

Chandrashekar, arrested on April 16 last year, has been denied bail once by the high court and thrice by the trial court. The high court had on June 15, 2017, 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, 2017, alleging that Dhinakaran 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 Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials to get the AIADMK ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala faction in a bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.

Dhinakaran, also chargesheeted by 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 J Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.

The EC had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions — one led by Dhinakaran’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 Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar.