On June 20, Enforcement Directorate opposed the jail transfer plea filed by conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar in the Supreme Court. In his plea, Sukesh requested to transfer him to another prison. The investigation agency told the apex court that during custodial interrogation, he has admitted to Rs 215 crore heist and warned the court that the plea came in the backdrop of a desire to set up a racket that he had allegedly run inside Tihar. The agency said he wanted to build a nexus of officials to help him in another jail just like Tihar.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented ED in the court before the two-judge bench comprising Justice CT Ravi Kumar and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia. Notably, the law officer had urged the court to hear ED before considering the plea filed by Chandrasekhar.
Chandrasekhar admitted to Rs 215 crores heist, was being delivered five-star food in Tihar, had parties in the jail: ED to SC
ED told the apex court that Sukesh admitted to duping Aditi Singh, wife of former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Mohan, of Rs 215 crores by posing as Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla over the phone. Furthermore, the agency told the court that food was being delivered from a five-star hotel to Tihar Jail for Chandrasekhar. He also hosted parties inside a prison in which jail officials were allegedly involved.
The investigating agency opposed the transfer plea in which Chandrasekhar alleged there were threats to his life. ED said he wanted a transfer to repeat what he had done in Tihar. Agency said, “During ED custody, Chandrasekhar admitted that he impersonated Law Secretary Anup Kumar and Home secretary Ajay Bhalla. He admitted to collecting cash from Aditi Singh…He admitted that he used mobile-based applications ‘hushed’ and ‘crazy call’ for voice modulation and purchased virtual numbers.”
The court has agreed to hear ED on Tuesday (June 21) when it would consider the plea that he was facing threats to life in Tihar. It is noteworthy that several Police officials are under probe for allegedly receiving bribes from Sukesh in exchange for favours inside prison.
ED says Charasekhar a habitual offender, has been found possessing mobile phones inside the jail
Earlier on Friday, the court had asked the Central Government to make a decision if Chandrasekhar could be shifted to another Jail. On Monday, ED moved a fresh application and informed the court about the charges and the ongoing investigation involving Chandrasekhar. The agency told the court, “Chandrasekhar is a habitual offender and has been charged with cheating people and is a known conman. On various occasions inside the jail premises, he has reportedly been found possessing a mobile phone and making calls, impersonating various Government functionaries and holders of constitutional posts to gain benefits. It has been found that Chandrasekhar and his wife Leena were running an organised crime syndicate.”
ED added,” The Tihar Jail has ensured that it would thwart any future possibility of misuse of jail facilities. For any new prison to put in place similar measures or even to come to terms with the sophisticated means of con-manship by Chandrasekhar will take time and transferring the petitioners to any other prison would be hazardous as he is likely to repeat the same mischief and offences.”
The agency further added that in June 2020, Chandrasekhar impersonated the Union Law Secretary and later as Union Home Secretary to con Aditi Singh. He allegedly extorted Rs 215 crores from Aditi Singh, claiming Union Home Minister and PMO officials knew about the deal to get her husband out on bail in exchange for the money.
ED said, “The proceeds of crime were used to purchase cars, house in Chennai, various luxury items, clothes etc., and was utilised to open a salon for his wife (Leena Paulose, a co-accused who too is lodged at Tihar), to give expensive gifts to celebrities and to jail authorities to manage facilities in jail.”
ED added, “Leena further stated that she had seen Chandrasekhar having parties (consuming alcohol, chicken and mutton) in Tihar jail through video calls…she had also seen that his food used to come from Hotel Taj in Tihar jail,” while referring to Paulose’s statement on how he had parties inside the jail.
ED further said TV actors Nikita Tamboli, Sophia Singh and Chahat Khanna admitted to meeting Chandrasekhar in prison and receiving gifts and money from him. A costume designer and image consultant identified as Leepakshi Ellawadi had said in a statement to the agency that she was hired by Chandrasekhar as a stylist for actor Jacqueline Fernandes.
Arrest of Chandrasekhar
In 2017, Delhi Police arrested Sukesh Chandrasekhar for the first time for allegedly duping AIADMK leader of Rs 2 crores on the pretext he would help the politician in retaining the two leaves symbol of the party. He had claimed he would do that by bribing the Election Commission officials. Since then, 34 cases have been filed against Chandrasekhar under charges of attempt to murder, cheating, extortion, bribing public officials and more. A special cell of Delhi Police is investigating jail and police officials for alleged involvement in his crimes.
On December 31, his lawyer issued a statement on behalf of Chandrasekhar denying all the charges. He claimed government agencies were targeting him. He called himself a corporate lobbyist and refused to identify himself as a conman.