Sunday, June 26, 2022

Centre proposes before SC to transfer conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar from Tihar to Delhi's Mandoli jail

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New Delhi | June 23, 2022 8:54:54 PM IST
The Central government on Thursday proposed before the Supreme Court that the alleged 'conman' Sukesh Chandrashekhar and his wife Leena Paulose who are currently lodged in Tihar Jail could be shifted to Mandoli Jail in Delhi.

A vacation bench of Justices CT Ravi Kumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia posted the matter for hearing on June 30.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju representing the Centre told the bench that Chandrashekhar could be transferred to Mandoli Jail in Delhi and the prison is guarded by paramilitary forces.

"He can be placed in Mandoli jail. It's manned by paramilitary forces from outside and inside we are putting Tamil Nadu special police forces to oversee him. Regular Delhi Police will not be there over him," ASG said.

As a senior advocate, R Basant, appearing for Chandrashekhar, objected to shifting him to Mandoli Jail, the apex court asked him to file a statement in response to the Centre's proposal to transfer him to Mandoli prison.

"Since this court specifically observed that matter could be taken further only after giving the names of appropriate jail, we are of the view that matter can be taken up further only after giving the name of appropriate jail. List this matter on June 30. In the meanwhile, statement if any on behalf of the petitioner shall be filed," the top court stated in its order.

During the hearing, ASG Raju also told the bench that shifting Chandrashekhar from Tihar Jail was unwarranted. While being lodged in jail, he was involved in all illegal activities and he had also called up some judges impersonating the Law Minister asking them to pass orders in his favour, ASG argued.

Advocate Basant contended that the petition pertained to transferring Chandrashekhar to any other jail and had nothing to do with the investigation. He said of 34 cases registered against Chandrashekhar, the majority of cases were registered in Bangalore and urged the bench that he may either be transferred to a jail in Bangalore or any other jail outside Delhi.

"Someone who is in jail wants a choice of jail," remarked Justice Dhulia.

Asking the senior advocate to file a response to the government's proposal to transfer Chandrashekhar to Mandoli jail, the bench said, "You haven't mentioned that you want to be transferred to any other jail which is not under the same authorities. If you have any objections, you can file it."

On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought prosecution of Chandrashekhar for perjury claiming that he has falsely stated in his affidavit about a physical assault in Tihar Jail and deliberately omitted the report of the doctors who ruled out any physical injury to him.

The investigating agency had opposed his plea before the top court to transfer him and his wife from Tihar Jail to any other prison outside Delhi on the ground of a threat to his life.

Chandrashekhar's counsel had told the bench that his client continuously faces threats to his life from the jail staff and protection money is being sought from him.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while opposing Chandrashekhar's plea for transfer to another jail had said that police personnel from Tamil Nadu's special police force have been deployed for their security in Tihar jail.

Mehta had said that Chandrashekhar used to call models and celebrities to his jail in collusion with prison staff, who have been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered against them.

Director General (Prisons), Delhi Prisons in a fresh affidavit had stated that the contention of Chandrashekhar that he was assaulted in jail are vehemently denied as totally and wholly false and "fabricated for the ulterior motive of seeking transfer to another prison in order to repeat his misdemeanours and offences."

ED had told the top court that Chandrashekhar indulged in money laundering, extortion, and impersonation of public officials including those holding constitutional posts, and had opposed his plea for prison transfer outside Delhi.

Last week, the Supreme Court had said that it would be appropriate to transfer Chandrashekhar and his wife to some other jail so as to allay the apprehension of all concerned and asked the Centre to take a decision on the appropriate jail to which he can be transferred.

Sukesh Chandrashekhar is lodged in Tihar jail on charges of money laundering and duping several persons and claimed a threat to his life in the prison.

Chandrashekhar along with his wife had moved the top court seeking his transfer from Tihar Jail to another prison. He said that since he has levelled allegations against jail officials, he faces a threat to his life.

He had alleged that the Tihar prison authorities have extorted around Rs 12.5 crore from him in the last two years.

He is charged with many multi-crore fraud cases and is also accused of extorting Rs 200 crore from the family of former Fortis Healthcare and Ranbaxy Lab promoters Shivinder and Malvinder Singh from the premises of the prison.

He was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery instance allegedly involving former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others.

A number of women Bollywood actors and models have been questioned by the ED for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar. (ANI)

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