Election Commission bribery case: High Court dismisses middleman’s bail plea

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed the bail plea of a middleman, arrested in the 2017 Election Commission bribery case which allegedly involved former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others.

Justice Mukta Gupta denied relief to Sukesh Chandrashekar, who was arrested on April 16, 2017 for allegedly bribing EC officials for getting the ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala-led faction of the party.

“Bail application is dismissed,” the judge said, while pronouncing the order.

The high court and the trial court have denied him bail on several occasions.

On an earlier occasion, the high court had rejected his bail plea on the ground that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession.

A trial court had framed charges against the accused for the alleged offences punishable under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under section 8 (taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means to influence public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

A charge sheet was filed by the police before the trial court in the case in July 2017, alleging that Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe 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 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, who floated the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam party after being expelled from the AIADMK, was arrested here on April 25, 2017 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol. The by-poll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.

Dhinakaran won the by-elections held in Radha Krishnan Nagar Assembly constituency in December 2017 under the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol with a margin of over 40,000 votes.

Dhinakaran’s aide T P Mallikarjun and a man called B Kumar were also put on trial for these offences.

SC dismisses plea seeking SIT probe in alleged bribery case

SC dismisses plea seeking SIT probe in alleged bribery case
SC dismisses plea seeking SIT probe in alleged bribery case

The Supreme Court today dismissed another plea filed by a non-government organisation seeking an SIT probe into the alleged bribery case in the name of judges.

A bench comprising justices R K Agrawal, Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar also imposed a cost of Rs 25 lakh on the petitioner NGO – Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), which had sought an SIT probe into the matter.

The apex court had earlier dismissed a similar plea, which made identical allegations filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal.

The petition had claimed that allegations of bribery were levelled for securing settlement of cases relating to medical colleges in which retired Orissa High Court judge, Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, is also an accused.

( Source – PTI )

EC bribery case: Accused again alleges torture inside jail

EC bribery case: Accused again alleges torture inside jail
EC bribery case: Accused again alleges torture inside jail

Sukesh Chandrashekar, an accused in the Election Commission (EC) bribery case, today moved the Delhi High Court alleging that despite an order not to subject him to violence inside Tihar jail, he was tortured.

The high court on July 24 had warned of “serious action” over the alleged “torture” of Chandrashekar, saying any such incident will not be tolerated.

The accused, who was recently charge-sheeted for alleged offences against him, said that despite a specific direction to the authorities, the “ill treatment continued”, leaving no option but to bring the violation of constitutional guarantees to the notice of the court.

The application on behalf of Sukesh came up before Justice Ashutosh Kumar seeking early hearing of his plea as he was being subjected to violence while in prison.

In view of the averments made in the plea, filed through advocate Gurpreet Singh, the court preponed the date of hearing to August 11 as against the earlier date of August 22.

The application was filed in the pending petition moved by Sukesh alleging that he was strip-searched by jail officials while he was lodged in a high-risk ward.

He has claimed that he was being tortured by jail officials in connivance with Tamil Nadu Special Police, which is handling the security of Tihar jail, because he was supporting the AIADMK (Amma) faction.

He has urged that he be shifted to a prison other than the high-risk one to be protected from cruelty and torture.

The high court had then asked police to file a status report after verification of the facts.

It had also asked the Tihar jail authorities to ensure that Chandrashekar is not subjected to any cruelty/violence and he would be provided all protection in the jail.

Recently the Delhi Police Crime Branch has filed an over 700-page charge sheet alleging that Chandrashekar, who was arrested on April 16, had conspired with Sasikala-led AIADMK (Amma) faction leader TTV Dhinakaran, a co-accused, to bribe EC officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for the faction.

Chandrashekar was denied bail by the high court on June 14 on the grounds that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession which was a “serious threat on Parliament’s security”. His bail pleas were also dismissed by the trial court thrice.

According to the police, they had allegedly recovered cash worth Rs 1.3 crore from him at the time of the raid at a hotel in Chanakyapuri area of South Delhi.

Earlier, the police had told a trial court here that a supplementary final report would be filed later against other 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.

( Source – PTI )

Symbol case: Accused seeks bail, court to pass order on June 9

Symbol case: Accused seeks bail, court to pass order on June 9
Symbol case: Accused seeks bail, court to pass order on June 9

An alleged middleman, arrested in the Election Commission bribery case, today sought bail in a special court here on the ground of parity with AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dhinakaran.

The police, however, opposed the bail plea of Sukesh Chandrashekar, saying he was involved in 21 cases, majority of which are related to the offence of cheating.

Public prosecutor Balbir Singh claimed the police has recovered a CD containing the alleged telephonic conversations between Chandrashekar and Dhinakaran. He said Chandrashekar promised Dhinakaran that he will not only arrange the symbol for his faction but also fix the poll date as per certain auspicious astrological time at the behest of the AIADMK (Amma) leader.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry after hearing the arguments reserved for June 9 the order on the application.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, who appeared for Chandrashekar in his second bail plea, claimed that if Dhinakaran, for whose benefit the alleged offence was committed, was granted the relief, the same should also be applied to his client.

“The persons for whose benefit the alleged offence was committed, were granted bail. There was no confessional statement of Chandrashekar as claimed by the police. It’s only a disclosure statement.

“The police claimed that if Chandrashekar, an influential person, was released on bail, he may try to tamper with the evidence. Dhinakaran, who was more influential, has already been released on bail,” Aggarwal argued.

The counsel contended that police is yet to identify the public servant, who was said to be lured by the accused.

Public prosecutor Singh, however, opposed the bail plea saying apart from the CD, the agency has also recovered Rs 1.3 crore cash and fake MP, MLA ID cards from the possession of the accused.

Chandrashekar, who was arrested on April 16, had claimed that he was a “scapegoat” and had been “falsely implicated” in the case.

The court had dismissed his earlier bail application on the ground that he could tamper with evidence.

Dhinakaran, his close aide Mallikarjuna, suspected hawala operators Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar have been granted bail.

Dhinakaran was arrested here on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials for the symbol.

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 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 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.

( Source – PTI )

Symbol case: Court seeks police reply on bail plea of accused

Symbol case: Court seeks police reply on bail plea of accused
Symbol case: Court seeks police reply on bail plea of accused

A Special court today sought a response from Delhi Police on the bail application of an alleged middleman arrested in the Election Commission bribery case involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dhinakaran.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry issued a notice to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch on the plea and posted the matter for arguments on June 7.

Accused Sukesh Chandrashekar sought relief on grounds of parity with Dhinakaran, who was granted bail on June 1. He said his custody period had exceeded that of the AIADMK leader.

Chandrashekar, arrested on April 16, claimed he had been made a “scapegoat” and “falsely implicated” in the case.

The plea, filed through advocate Anand Pandey, said Dhinakaran had been granted bail even though he was more “influential” than Chandrashekar.

This is Chandrashekar’s second bail plea as the court had declined an earlier application fearing that he could tamper with evidence.

The court will tomorrow pronounce its order on the bail pleas of suspected hawala operator Nathu Singh and co-accused Lalit Kumar, who are in judicial custody.

Dhinakaran and his close aide Mallikarjuna were granted bail by the court which had said the poll officials who were allegedly being bribed so that Dhinakaran’s faction of the AIADMK could get the ‘two leaves’ election symbol were yet to be identified.

Dhinakaran was arrested here on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials for the symbol.

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 EC after the alleged irregularities were reported in the media.

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 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.

( Source – PTI )

Former military station officials get jail term for graft

Former military station officials get jail term for graft
Former military station officials get jail term for graft

A CBI court in Jodhpur today sentenced four-year rigorous imprisonment to a former assistant garrison engineer and a similar three-year term to another in a bribery case.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 3,000 on Janardan Parab and a fine of Rs 2,000 on Vijay Kumar, both former assistant garrison engineers.

CBI had registered a case in June 2014 against Parab and Kumar, both working in MES, Military Station, Suratgarh of Rajasthan on complaint that they had demanded a bribe of Rs 80,000 from a person to pass his outstanding bills, said a CBI spokesperson.

A trap was laid and Parab was arrested while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 40,000 (Rs 20,000 for himself and rest for Kumar), the spokesperson said.

After completion of investigation, a charge sheet was filed in February 2015 against the duo.

The charges were framed in September 2015 following examination of 12 witnesses, the official added.

( Source – PTI )

Enough material to proceed against ex-Minister Mani: VACB

Enough material to proceed against ex-Minister Mani: VACB
Enough material to proceed against ex-Minister Mani: VACB

A state investigative agency probing into the bar bribery case allegedly involving former Finance Minister K K Mani today told the Kerala High Court that there was enough material against him to continue the probe.

Investigation into the matter involving the bar bribery case is progressing, said the state Vigilance and Anti- Corruption Bureau (VACB), which is probing the case.

The VACB also informed the court that call records were being examined and forensic report on the phone conversation between people involved in the case was awaited.

Justice P Ubaid, however, asked the agency to complete the probe into the case in a time-bound manner and directed VACB to examine whether the bribery allegations constitute an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Mani seeking quashing of the vigilance probe against him in the bar bribery case.

The VACB had started investigating the case two years ago after a bar owner alleged that Mani, the finance minister in the previous Congress-led UDF government, was bribed by the Kerala Bar Owners Association to ensure that 418 bars closed by the government as part of a phased prohibition policy were reopened.

( Source – PTI )

Bribery case: Alleged middleman moves court for bail

An alleged middleman has moved a Delhi court seeking bail in a bribery case involving suspended top official in the Chhattisgarh government B L Agrawal.

In his plea before special judge Virender Kumar Goyal, the accused, Bhagwan Singh, who is currently in judicial custody, claimed that the probe was already complete and there was no possibility that he would hamper it if the relief was granted.

The court has put up the matter for arguments on May 3 when it will also hear the bail plea of another accused, Syed Burhanuddin, who had claimed to be an official working in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The court had on March 31 denied bail to Agrawal and took cognisance of the charge sheet filed by CBI against all the four accused — Agrawal, his relative Anand Agrawal, Singh and Burhanuddin, who are currently in judicial custody.

“I have gone through the material filed with the charge sheet, I take cognizance of the offence under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) IPC and section 8 (taking gratification, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant) of Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused,” the judge said.

He also directed the CBI to supply charge sheet copy to accused persons by May 8, the next date of hearing.

In it charge sheet, the agency has alleged that Agrawal, a 1988 batch IAS officer who was the Principal Secretary in the Chhattisgarh government, wanted to “settle” an ongoing CBI probe against him.

According to CBI, the officer was facing investigation in two cases registered in 2010 when he was the Health Secretary in the state government. He has been charge sheeted in one case, while the probe is going on in the other.

The agency has alleged that the officer had allegedly approached Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Noida, who took him to Burhanuddin to get a graft case “settled”.

Burhanuddin, who has many aliases, claimed that he would help him settle the case in his favour. Burhanuddin aka OP Singh aka OP Sharma demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI alleged.

At a meeting between the trio, Agrawal agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, it alleged, adding that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel, it claimed.

When Agrwal expressed inability to arrange cash for the remaining amount, Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kg of gold as illegal gratification, it alleged.

The agency registered a case of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Agrawal, Singh and others.

Bribery case: Alleged PMO official moved court for bail

Bribery case: Alleged PMO official moved court for bail
Bribery case: Alleged PMO official moved court for bail

A man, who had earlier falsely claimed to be an official of the Prime Minister’s Office, today moved a Delhi court seeking bail in a bribery case involving suspended principal secretary in the Chhattisgarh government B L Agrawal.

In his plea before special judge Virender Kumar Goyal, the accused, Syed Burhanuddin, who is currently in judicial custody, claimed that the probe was already complete and there was no possibility that he would hamper it if the relief was granted.

The court put up the matter for arguments on the application for April 27, the next date of hearing. The court had on March 31 denied bail to Agrawal.

Last week, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against all the four accused persons — Agrawal, his relative Anand Agrawal, alleged middleman Bhagwan Singh and Burhanuddin — who are currently in judicial custody.

On the next date of hearing, the court will also consider whether to take cognisance of the charge sheet.

In it charge sheet, the agency has alleged that Agrawal, a 1988 batch IAS officer, wanted to “settle” an ongoing CBI probe against him.

According to CBI, the officer was facing investigation in two cases registered in 2010 when he was the Health Secretary in the Chhattisgarh government. He has been charge sheeted in one case, while the probe is going on in the other.

The agency has alleged that the officer had allegedly approached Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Noida, who took him to Burhanuddin to get a graft case “settled”.

Burhanuddin, who has many aliases, claimed that he would help him settle the case in his favour. Burhanuddin aka OP Singh aka OP Sharma demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI alleged.

At a meeting held between the trio on February 11, Agrawal agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, it alleged, adding that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel, it said.

He expressed inability to arrange cash for the remaining amount, following which Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kilogrammes of gold as illegal gratification, the agency alleged.

The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy and under Prevention of Corruption Act against Agrawal, Singh and others.

( Source – PTI )

IAS officer denied bail in bribery case

IAS officer denied bail in bribery case
IAS officer denied bail in bribery case

A special court today denied bail to suspended principal secretary in the Chhattisgarh government, B L Agrawal, who was arrested in a bribery case.

Special judge Virender Kumar Goyal dismissed the bail plea noting that the investigation was at a crucial stage.

The agency has registered a corruption case against the 1988-batch IAS officer accusing him of trying to “settle” an ongoing probe being conducted by it against him.

The other accused — Anand Agrawal, a relative of the officer, alleged middleman Bhagwan Singh and Syed Burhanuddin, who claimed to be an official of the Prime Minister’s Office, are in judicial custody.

The officer had sought the relief claiming that he and his wife were suffering from various serious ailments.

The CBI, however, had opposed the bail plea saying that a family member’s medical condition cannot be considered for bail of the accused.

The agency had also said that the probe is at a crucial stage and if released on bail, the officer, being an influential person, may tamper with the evidence.

“A person who is trying to influence the PMO and even trying to bend the course of investigation in his favour shows how influential he is,” it had said.

The court had on March 21 dismissed the bail plea of Anand Agrawal in the case.

The CBI had claimed that the officer was facing probe in two cases registered in 2010 when he was the health secretary in the Chhattisgarh government. He has been charge-sheeted in one, while probe is going on in the other.

The agency has alleged that the officer had approached Bhagwan Singh, a Noida resident, who took him to Burhanuddin to get the graft case “settled”.

The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused.

( Source – PTI )