A special court today kept for consideration a plea filed by a man, arrested for allegedly striking a deal of Rs 50 crore to help an AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ poll symbol, seeking safeguarding of his fundamental rights. The court said it would consider the application on April 25 when the police custody of the accused expired, as the investigating officer was not available today. Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry, however, granted partial relief to accused Sukesh Chandrashekar, an alleged middleman, and allowed his family members to give him clothes in custody.
The application, filed through advocate Ashwini Kumar, claimed that Chandrashekar was deprived of adequate sleep in police custody which was violation of his fundamental and basic human right. “The accused conveyed that he perceives a threat to his life and hence it is necessary that the officials carrying out the interrogation of the accused should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags…,” the plea said. It also sought a direction to police to videograph the entire period of the accused’ police custody as he apprehends custodial death and torture at the hands of cops.
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The counsel claimed that Chandrashekar has no connection with AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dinakaran and that the facts of the FIR were “concocted and implanted” to get political mileage while making him a scapegoat.
Chandrashekar, who was arrested from a five-star hotel here on April 16, was remanded to eight days police custody.
The case pertains to an alleged attempt to bribe an Election Commission (EC) official by AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dinakaran for trying to get the party’s poll symbol of ‘two leaves’ in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu. The polling was later cancelled by the EC. Chandrashekar was arrested on April 16 after which an FIR was lodged. According to the police, his links with EC officials was being probed.
Chandrashekar had struck a deal for Rs 50 crore to help the AIADMK faction to keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol, the police alleged, adding that Rs 1.3 crore and two luxury cars, a BMW and a Mercedes, were recovered from him.
The EC had frozen AIADMK’s symbol after two factions led by Sasikala and former chief minister O Panneerselvam staked a claim to it.
The bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency was scheduled for April 12, but the EC cancelled it, saying the electoral process had been “seriously vitiated” by parties through use of money power. Dinakaran was the candidate of the Sasikala faction. The bypoll was necessitated following the death of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.