A special court on Saturday dismissed the bail plea of an alleged middleman who was arrested in the Election Commission bribery case involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader TTV Dhinakaran. Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry denied bail to Sukesh Chandrashekar, who was arrested on April 16 and chargesheeted by the Delhi Police on July 14.
“Bail application dismissed. Detailed order to follow later in the day,” the court said. Chandrashekar had sought bail on the ground that his custody was not required as the investigation regarding him was complete.
The prosecutor had opposed the bail plea saying that the investigation in the case was still going on. He has been denied bail twice by a sessions court and then by the Delhi High Court.
The court has already fixed August three to consider the issue of taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed in the case. The Delhi Police Crime Branch has chargesheeted Chandrashekar for alleged offences under the IPC including forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using forged document as genuine, possessing a forged document, intending to use it as genuine and criminal conspiracy.
He was also charged with the alleged offence of taking gratification by illegal means to influence public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act. If convicted, the offences carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The police have alleged in the charge sheet that Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for their party. They have told the court that a supplementary final report would be filed later against accused Dhinakaran, his close aide T P Mallikarjuna, suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar, who are out on bail, after completing the probe against them.
The police has claimed that the money allegedly recovered from Chandrashekar was sent by Dhinakaran through unaccounted channels with the help of other accused persons. Chandrashekar was arrested for allegedly taking money from Dhinakaran to bribe ECI officials to get the AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala faction.
According to the police, Rs 1.3 crore in cash was allegedly recovered from him at the time of the raid at a hotel in Chanakyapuri area of south Delhi. Dhinakaran was arrested here on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe ECI officials for the symbol. Mallikarjuna was also arrested the same day.
His faction had hoped to obtain the symbol for the bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu which was later cancelled by the ECI after the alleged irregularities surfaced, according to the police. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa who represented the constituency.
The ECI had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions of the party — 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. Dhinakaran has been accused of arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels.