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On SC order, Centre offers to shift conman Sukesh from Tihar to Mandoli jail


The Centre on Thursday offered to shift conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, currently housed in Tihar, to Mandoli jail in east Delhi in compliance with the Supreme Court’s June 17 order on the 33-year-old’s petition that alleged a threat to his life in Tihar jail.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju appearing for Centre told a vacation bench of justices CT Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia that Chandrashekhar could be shifted to Mandoli after the bench noted that neither the Centre nor the Delhi government had “made a whisper” about the alternative jail to which the petitioner could be shifted.

“It (Mandoli) is a different jail which is manned outside by paramilitary forces,” Raju said, but underlined that there was no need to move him at all.

“My submission is he is good where he is as he is presently placed under CCTV surveillance and a guard of the Tamil Nadu special police force has been posted to oversee him round the clock.”

The bench noted the suggestion of the law officer in its order and posted the matter for June 30 for the other vacation bench to consider and pass suitable orders. It clarified that by proposing an alternative jail, the Centre shall not be deprived of its argument opposing Sukesh’s transfer from Tihar Jail.

On June 17, the Supreme Court ordered transfer of Sukesh Chandrashekhar’ to another jail on his plea that alleged threat to his life and also complained of assault inside prison by jail officials last month for disclosing to the Delhi police the names of top authorities manning the prison who were regularly paid money. Chandrashekhar claimed this was protection money for his safety but the Centre claimed this was bribe paid by him to ensure unhindered use of mobile phone and other facilities to carry out his criminal activities from inside jail.

The Centre, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Tihar jail have objected to shifting him out of Tihar.

Chandrasekhar was first arrested by the Delhi Police in 2017 for allegedly duping an AIADMK leader of 2 crore on the pretext of helping the politician retain the party’s two leaves symbol by bribing Election Commission officers. When he was lodged in Delhi’s Rohini jail between July 2020 to September 2021, police received a complaint in August 2021 that he duped former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Mohan’s wife Aditi Singh from prison. ED told the Supreme Court that Chandrashekhar impersonated as law secretary Anup Kumar and home secretary Ajay Bhalla and got her to pay 215 crore to get her husband out of jail. The special cell of Delhi Police is currently investigating a large number of jail and police officials for allegedly colluding with Chandrasekhar.

Senior advocate R Basant appearing for Sukesh said, “As many as 34 cases are pending against me in courts across Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It makes no difference wherever I am lodged. It is dangerous for me to continue here at Tihar.”

As Sukesh’s wife Leena Paulose has also sought transfer from Tihar, senior advocate Arijit Prasad appearing for her told the court that Mandoli will not be a suitable jail as it falls under the same administration that controls Tihar Jail.

The bench objected to such an argument, “Do you want to suggest that the accused can have right to choose which jail he should be in,” the bench said. The court showed the June 17 order which mentions transfer to any other jail and not a jail outside Delhi. Basant told the court that they would not mind to be lodged at Port Blair or even Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh to which the bench remarked, “Will you be safe in Ghaziabad?”

The bench allowed the petitioners to file their objections to the suggestion made by ASG Raju.

ED earlier filed an application to review the June 17 order claiming that the entire attempt by the petitioner was to create a façade to get out from Tihar after changes have been effected and officials arrested to ensure the activities performed by the petitioner in jail do not get repeated.

The court did not issue any order on the two applications by ED even as ASG pointed out that the apprehension of threat to life of the petitioner is not genuine. He referred to the Tihar DG affidavit filed two days ago which falsified the petitioner’s claim that he was assaulted by jail staff inside prison on May 14. The report by the doctor who examined him the same day concluded “no external injury”. However, this crucial part of the report by the hospital was not produced by the petitioner before the top court.

Raju told the court, “He is using the jail premises to do all kinds of illegal activities by bribing jail officials.”



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