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EC bribery case: Probe to be completed in 4-6 weeks, HC told

EC bribery case: Probe to be completed in 4-6 weeks, HC told

The Delhi High Court was today informed by the Delhi Police it would take 4-6 weeks to complete its probe in the Election Commission bribery case allegedly involving AIADMK (leader) T T V Dhinakaran and others.

The court directed the Delhi Police Crime Branch to file by December 5, a status report on the current status of investigation.

Justice Ashutosh Kumar was hearing a bail plea of co- accused and alleged middleman Sukesh Chandrashekar, who has sought the relief on the ground that he was in jail for six months and a charge sheet against him has been filed in the trial court.

During the hearing, the court asked the police about the status of investigation against the other accused — Dhinakaran, his close aide Mallikarjuna, suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar, who were earlier granted bail.

To this, prosecutor Ashish Dutta and DCP (Crime) Rajesh Dev said the probe against the other accused was going on and it would be completed within four-six weeks.

The court then adjourned the hearing on Chandrashekar’s bail plea and asked the police to file the status report.

It also asked the police to inform it as to who was the person who had called the special judge asking her to grant bail to Chandrashekar.

Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, who was appearing Chandrashekar, argued that till date the police has not identified a single person in the Election Commission whom the alleged middleman had met in pursuance to the purported conspiracy to get the AIADMK ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala faction.

He further claimed that the charge sheet was hurridly filed to prevent him from getting bail and some stringent provisions were added in the case.

Chandrashekar, arrested on April 16, has been denied bail once by the high court and thrice by the trial court.

The high court had on June 15 rejected his bail plea on the ground that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession.

A chargesheet was filed by the police before the trial court in the case on July 14 alleging that Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for their party.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch 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 had moved the high court alleging that 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”.

The high court on July 24 had warned of “serious action” over the allegations of torture and said any such incident would not be tolerated.

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 by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.

Dhinakaran 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 constituency.

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.

( Source – PTI )


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