A special court today took cognisance of the charge sheet filed by police against a middleman who was arrested in the Election Commission bribery case allegedly involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader TTV Dhinakaran. Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry issued production warrant for accused middleman Sukesh Chandrashekar and directed the jail authorities to produce him before the court on August 18, the next date of hearing. He was not brought to the court today as he has been taken to another court outside Delhi for a pending case there. Chandrashekar, arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police on April 16 and presently under judicial custody, was chargesheeted on July 14.
“I take cognisance of the charge sheet for alleged offences against accused Chandrashekar,” the judge said. The police, in its over 700-page charge sheet, has alleged that Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe the Election Commission (EC) officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for their faction. The police has told the court 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. It has claimed that money recovered from alleged Chandrashekar was sent by Dhinakaran through unaccounted channels with the help of other accused persons.
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Chandrashekar was chargesheeted for alleged offences under the IPC including forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using forged document as genuine and possessing a forged document, intending to use it as genuine, personating a public servant and criminal conspiracy. He was also charged with alleged offence of taking gratification by illegal means to influence public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The charge sheet named 36 witnesses to support the case. If convicted, the offences carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The police has said forensic science laboratory results about the CD of conversation of Chandrashekar and Dhinakaran and the contents of seized mobile phones, were awaited. It has said that the probe about the alleged involvement of ECI officials, the recovered cars and the source and route of illegal channels of financial transactions was still going on. 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, 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.
Dhinakaran was arrested here on April 25 for allegedly attempting to bribe ECI officials for the symbol. Mallikarjuna was also arrested the same day for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar. Dhinakaran 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 ECI after the alleged irregularities surfaced. 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.