EC Bribery Case Accused Alleges Continued Torture Inside Tihar Jail

Officials of Delhi Police Crime Branch escort Sukesh Chandra the middleman accused of receiving a bribe after promising to retrieve the party symbol for AIADMK in New Delhi. Credit: PTI/File Photo

New Delhi: 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.