AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran and his aide, Mallikarjuna were on Wednesday granted bail by Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court for their alleged involvement in the Election Commission (EC) bribery case for the AIADMK’s two leaves symbol. The bail was granted on a personal bond of Rs 5 lakhs each. The duo was, however, directed to surrender their passports.
Mr. Dinakaran had sought bail on the ground that no public servant had been made an accused in the case, even though he was booked on graft charges. The Police had, on the other hand, opposed the bail application, contending that he had undermined the sanctity of the election process. It had further contended that adverse inference should be drawn against the two, due to their refusal to give voice samples. All the accused persons, including middleman Sukesh Chandrasekhar and alleged hawala operator Nathu Singh, were to be in judicial custody till June 12.
Judge Poonam Chaudhary, however, agreed with the contentions put forth by the accused and allowed the bail application, observing, “Further considering that the applicant is no more required for custodial interrogation. The CD containing the alleged voices of applicant and co-accused has already been seized. The mobile phone of applicant has also been seized, no other incriminating material remains to be recovered from him. There is no apprehension of accused absconding or freeing from justice as he is a Dy. Gen. Secretary of AIADMK and has deep roots in the society. Moreover, the public servant who was to be lured and induced to do an illegal act has not been identified.”
Mr. Dinakaran was arrested by the Delhi Police on April 25, after four consecutive days of questioning by Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, for allegedly attempting to bribe Election Commission officials to allot his faction of the AIADMK, the party’s two-leaf symbol. The symbol was frozen by the EC, after two factions of the party – one led by Mr. Dinakaran's aunt Sasikala and the other by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam – had staked claim to it. Mr. Mallikarjuna was arrested for shielding Mr. Dinakaran.
Mr. Chandrasekar was arrested from a Delhi hotel on April 16, allegedly with Rs. 1.3 crore that was meant for bribing poll panel officials. He had reportedly told the police he was Mr. Dinakaran’s “middleman”, and was asked to pay the money to EC officials. While the Police has asserted that Mr. Dinakaran had confessed to meeting Mr. Chandrasekar, the former has maintained that he did not pay any money to the latter.
Read the Order here.