New Delhi: The Centre Thursday proposed to the Supreme Court that if at all alleged ‘conman’ Sukesh Chandrashekhar and his wife are to be shifted outside the Tihar Jail, then they should be lodged in Mandoli prison which is being guarded by paramilitary forces.
The government opposed the transfer of Chandrashekhar and his wife to any other jail outside Delhi on the alleged ground of a threat to their life and added that they will be protected by police personnel from Tamil Nadu Special Police Force and would be observed through CCTV cameras. A vacation bench of Justices CT Ravi Kumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia asked senior advocate R Basant, appearing for Chandrashekhar, to file his objections to the Centre’s proposal to shift the accused to Mandoli Jail and posted the matter for further hearing on June 30.
The bench observed that a person who is lodged in prison cannot choose which jail he is to be lodged in.
The top court recorded the submission of Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Centre of shifting Chandrashekhar to Mandoli jail, and said since the court had on June 17 asked the government to suggest a name of the jail, where he could be transferred, the matter could proceed only after the compliance of the order.
The bench asked Chandrashekhar’s counsel to file a written statement on the objection to the proposal of shifting to Mandoli jail.
At the outset, Basant said that he is not seeking bail but only transferring to the prison outside Delhi as he has a grave risk of threat to his life and he is being extorted and tortured in Tihar jail.
“They (Enforcement Directorate) call it bribe and I call it extortion by the jail staff. I along with with my wife are facing a threat to life. Kindly transfer me to some other prison outside Delhi”, he said, adding that impleadment of ED has still not been allowed and the agency has nothing to do with the transfer of the prisoner.
Raju on other hand submitted that Chandrashekhar is a ‘conman’ and is accused in nearly three dozen cases and in one of the incidents he has impersonated a Supreme Court judge and called up a trial court judge to pass orders in his favour.
“This is all façade. He was never assaulted in the jail as claimed by him. He has deliberately omitted those two lines of the report of the doctors in which it was said that no external injury was found”, he said.
On June 21, the ED had sought prosecution of Chandrashekhar for perjury as it had claimed that he had 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 ED opposed the transfer of Chandrashekhar and his wife from Tihar Jail to any other prison outside Delhi on the ground of a threat to his life and said that police personnel from Tamil Nadu’s special police force have been deployed for their security.
The top court had said that since another vacation bench has passed the order seeking names of jails in which Chandrashekhar and his wife could be transferred, it cannot review it or modify it.
In an affidavit filed by Director General (Prisons), Delhi Prisons it was said that the contents of the Chandrashekhar’s application 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.
On June 20, the ED had made some startling revelations against Chandrashekhar that he indulged in money laundering, extortion, impersonation of public officials including those holding constitutional posts, and had opposed his plea for prison transfer outside Delhi.
The probe agency has sought to intervene in a plea of Chandrashekhar, who is lodged in Tihar jail on charges of money laundering and duping several people, and his wife seeking their transfer to a prison outside Delhi alleging threat to their lives from jail staff.
In its intervention application, the ED has said Chandrashekhar has repeatedly committed offences including of money laundering during his incarceration in the jail by subverting the legal system and prison rules with the help of his knowledge of technology and his abilities to con people.
“Sukesh Chandrashekhar has created a web through his devious mechanism. He is a master conman and with technology at his disposal, he could execute to perfection his plan”, the agency said.
The ED said that it has been found that Sukesh and his wife Leena were running an organized crime syndicate with the aid and association of other associates, added to the syndicate from time to time.
“That being inside the jail, he was threatening people to do what he wished or face consequences. The proceeds of crime were used to purchase cars, houses in Chennai, various luxury items, clothes, etc., and were utilized to open a salon for his wife, to give expensive gifts to celebrities, and to jail authorities to manage facilities in jail”, it said.
The probe agency named several TV and Bollywood personalities with whom the ‘conman’ has contacts and used to give them expensive gifts.