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The Delhi High Court has said that a helpless situation arises in adjudicating the incidents of violence and torture in prison due to non-availability of evidence. The court was today hearing a plea by Sukesh Chandrashekar, an accused in the Election Commission bribery case also involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader TTV Dhinakaran, that he was being tortured by jail officials. The court disagreed with the suggestion of the Delhi Police's counsel that the statement of the victim cannot be accepted in the absence of evidence. "If you say it is a luxury petition, then I won't accept it. He has made the allegation on oath.
His claims in the petition are on oath," Justice Ashutosh Kumar told Delhi Police's lawyer Rahul Mehra, who was opposing the claim of Chandrashekar. "... Inside the jail there would be no evidence," the court said, adding "what evidence can he give apart from his own statement". "He should not be assaulted inside the prison," it added. The court asked Mehra to look into the matter and file a detailed status report, verifying the claims made by the accused, before the next date of hearing on August 22. Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for Chandrashekar, said that his client was being subjected to violence inside the jail despite the court's order on July 24 that he be not tortured while in custody. Mehra opposed the claims saying there was no evidence that the accused was subjected to violence inside the jail and added that there were complaint mechanisms in place which can be used by an inmate. He, later, said he would personally speak to the Director General of Prisons and if something as alleged by the accused had happened then the officers concerned would be taken to task. He also told the court that the accused was under a three-tier security cover and CCTV cameras too were there, and that if he was tortured, it would have been captured in the cameras. In his plea, filed through advocates Gurpreet Singh and Bakul Jain, Chandrashekar has alleged 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. 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 the 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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)