Raids at residences, offices of former Unitech promoters, 32 Tihar jail officers

The jail officials are accused of helping the Chandra brothers operate a “secret underground office in south Delhi”
All the accused 32 jail officials were posted in jail number 7 of Tihar, where Sanjay Chandra (in pic) and his brother Ajay Chandra were lodged until the morning of August 28, before being shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja jails in Maharashtra on the orders of the Supreme Court. (HT Archive)
All the accused 32 jail officials were posted in jail number 7 of Tihar, where Sanjay Chandra (in pic) and his brother Ajay Chandra were lodged until the morning of August 28, before being shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja jails in Maharashtra on the orders of the Supreme Court. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 26, 2021 12:35 AM IST
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At least 37 teams of the Delhi Police on Monday conducted raids at the residences and offices of former Unitech promoters, Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra, and Tihar jail officers as part of their probe in a case against 32 jail officers for helping the Chandra brothers operate a “secret underground office in south Delhi”. The raids were conducted in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan by the police’s crime branch.

All the accused 32 jail officials were posted in jail number 7 of Tihar, where the Chandra brothers were lodged until the morning of August 28, before being shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja jails in Maharashtra on the orders of the Supreme Court.

The accused jail officers include one superintendent, one deputy superintendent, seven assistant superintendent, 10 head warders, 11 warders and two contractual employees. One of the contractual employees is a data entry operator and another is a nursing orderly. Police said they seized cell phones, bank statements and other documents of all the accused during the raids.

Confirming the raids, Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said, “Prominent places where crime branch teams conducted search and seizure operations include residences of Unitech Ltd owners, Ramesh Chandra, Ajay Chandra, Sanjay Chandra, and their employees. Search and seizure have also been conducted at the residences of former Superintendent of Tihar Jail No 7, former deputy superintendent, assistant superintendents, head warders, warders and contractual staff of Tihar Jail.”

Biswal also added that police have seized evidence in the form of mobile phones and documents: “The investigation is underway.”

The Supreme Court had on August 26 asked police commissioner Rakesh Asthana to personally conduct an enquiry and look into the role of jail officers who helped the former Unitech promoters violate prison rules.

As part of the probe, Asthana had recorded statements of all jail officers, inspected jail 7 in Tihar and also questioned the former Unitech promoters at the two jails in Maharashtra. After reading Asthana’s enquiry report, the Supreme Court had on October 6 ordered the government to suspend the officers named in the report, and also register an FIR in the case.

The Chandra brothers were arrested in April 2017 for duping homebuyers in 74 Unitech projects. The two are also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

The ED in a report to the apex court in August had said that the two men were instructing their people outside on how to transfer the proceeds of crime. The ED had said that it also unearthed a secret underground office’ in Delhi, which was being operated by erstwhile Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra and visited by his sons Sanjay and Ajay, when they were on parole or bail.

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