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Sukesh Chandrasekhar opposes transfer to high risk ward: HC seeks prison authorities stand

Law Crime

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the prison authorities on the plea of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, facing trial in the two-leaves symbol bribery case, challenging his shifting into a high risk ward of Tihar Jail here, allegedly for not meeting the Rs one crore demand of prison officials.

Sukesh was arrested for allegedly taking money from TTV Dhinakaran to bribe Election Commission officials to get the AIADMK 'two leaves' symbol for the Sasikala faction in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.

The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.

Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Director General (DG) of Prisons giving him one week's time to file a reply to the petition which alleges that the Jail Superintendent demanded Rs one crore from Sukesh as "welfare amount" to "survive peacefully in prison".

Sukesh has sought an inquiry into the alleged illegal demand of Rs one crore and that he be shifted to a normal ward with other economic offenders and not be lodged with gangsters in the high risk ward.

Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain accepted notice on behalf of the prison authorities.

The plea further alleges that when he declined to pay the "bribe" the prison officials planted a mobile phone in his cell as revenge.

Sukesh has claimed in his plea that on March 1, CBI officials had raided Jail no. 4, where he was lodged, but nothing incriminating was found.

Despite that he was shifted to ward no. 2 of Jail 8 and 9 of Tihar and after that the bribe amount was allegedly demanded, the petition has claimed.

Subsequently, several raids were carried out, which were videographed each time, but nothing was found, it has said.

However, when the "planted" mobile phone was seized, no videography was carried out, Sukesh has claimed in his plea.

Thereafter, he was shifted to the high risk ward in Jail no. 3 of Tihar as punishment, the petition has claimed and further alleged that the decision was taken to "put fear in mind of other inmates to agree to demands of the Jail Superintendent".

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on June 16 and said that in the meantime, Sukesh can make a representation to the jail authorities to be shifted to another cell.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 20:56 IST