Delhi High Court seeks Tihar Jail’s reply on custodial violence in ‘two leaves’ symbol bribe case
New Delhi, July 24: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a reply from Tihar Jail on a plea of middleman S. Chandershekhar accused in connection with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) symbol bribe case, alleging he was strip-searched by the officials. Justice Ashutosh Kumar issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government and the DG Prison of Tihar Jail and asked them to file a status report on the plea, that alleged that Chandrashekhar was strip-searched by jail officials while he was lodged in a high-risk ward.
In his plea through his counsel Aman Lekhi, the accused today alleged 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 rival faction of the ruling AIADMK (Amma). The court termed the allegations as serious and asked the jail authorities to ensure that the accused is not tortured in custody. The court sought to know from jail authorities why the accused was kept in a high-risk cell meant for dangerous criminals. The court has listed the matter for hearing on August 22.
The court also sought CCTV footage details to see where Chandrashekar was allegedly assaulted. 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 Dhinakaran to bribe the Election Commission (EC) officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala-led AIADMK (Amma) faction. The petition filed through advocate Gurpreet Singh alleged that “to the utter surprise and shock, he was subjected to illicit monetary demands”, of around Rs. two crore by jail authorities.
He urged that he be shifted to a prison other than the high-risk one to be protected from cruelty and torture. The plea alleged that “he was shifted to the ward occupied by high-risk detainees and convicts endangering his life and was subjected to immense psychological pressure.” It further said that two jail officials subjected him to a strip- search in gross violation of his right to live with dignity and that he was subjected to immense humiliation in front of other inmates.
Chandrashekar was denied bail by the high court on June 14 on the ground that the police had seized a fake Rajya Sabha member ID card from his possession which was a “serious threat to Parliament’s security”. 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. (ANI)