Millennium Post

EC bribery case: Court grants bail to two accused

A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to two suspected hawala operators arrested for their alleged role in the cash-for-election-symbol case involving AIADMK leader and party General Secretary V.K. Sasikala's nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry granted bail to Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar and asked them to furnish personal bonds of Rs two lakh each and two sureties of the like amount.

The court also asked them not to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses, not to leave the country without its permission and to surrender their passports.

Singh and Kumar were arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch on April 27 and May 18, respectively, and were in judicial custody since then. They had sought bail, saying that their custodial interrogation was not required and sought parity with Dinakaran and his close aide Mallikarjuna, who were granted bail on June 1.

Police had opposed their bail arguing that they were involved in a serious crime and they could tamper with the evidence.

Police had told the court that Kumar was the one who allegedly handed over Rs one crore unaccounted money to an unidentified person which was to be given to the arrested accused and middleman Sukesh Chandrashekar.

The money was meant to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get a favourable order to obtain the "Two Leaves" party symbol, said police.

On the other hand, Singh was involved in illegal transfer of money and he was given Rs one crore to hand it over to Chandrashekar, police said.

Dinakaran has been accused of allegedly arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels, while his close aide Mallikarjuna was arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between Dinakaran and Chandrashekar to get a favourable order from the poll panel.

Dinakaran was arrested on April 25 by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch on allegation of attempting to bribe the EC officials to obtain a favourable verdict, so that the now-frozen 'Two Leaves' symbol could be restored to Sasikala faction of the AIADMK.

The poll panel froze the AIADMK's symbol after two factions of the party -- one led by Sasikala and the other by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam -- staked claim to it.
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