A man, arrested for allegedly striking a deal of Rs 50 crore to help the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ poll symbol, on Monday was sent to eight days police custody by a Delhi court.
Sukesh Chandrasekhar, an alleged middleman, was produced at the residence of Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry who allowed the plea of Delhi Police’s Crime Branch to interrogate the accused for eight days, defence counsel said.
Advocate Ashwani Kumar, who represented Chandrashekhar, said the police had kept them in the dark and misguided them to make sure that the defence lawyers were not present when they produce the accused at the judge’s residence.
The counsel said they were heading towards the judge’s residence to mention the matter as the accused has a right to be represented through an advocate and the judge should hear them also.
High-drama continued the entire day as initially the police took the accused to Tis Hazari Court at 4:30 pm for his production, but the concerned judge was not available during the court hours. The court’s working hours are 10 am to 5 pm.
The cops rushed from one court room to another but no judge was available to send him to police or judicial custody.
The confusion regarding the concerned judge continued for over an hour, after which the police finally took the accused to the house of the concerned judge in south Delhi.
During the day, the Delhi Police DCP told reporters that Chandrashekhar would be taken to Tis Hazari Court. After bringing him to the court complex, police took the accused to the court of four judges - Special Judges Poonam Chaudhry, M K Nagpal and Himani Malhotra and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satish Kumar Arora.
Thereafter, the police decided to take the accused to the residence of the concerned judge for production.
Even the advocate, prosecutor and investigator were in a dilemma on where to produce Chandrashekhar.
The case pertained to an alleged attempt to bribe an Election Commission 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.
Chandrashekhar was arrested yesterday after which an FIR was lodged. According to the police, his links with Election Commission officials was being probed.
Sukesh 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 1.30 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.