SC allows Sukesh Chandrashekhar to appear via video conferencing before CBI court in Chennai

Chandrashekhar is lodged in Tihar jail on charges of money laundering and duping several persons and claimed a threat to his life in the prison

Supreme Court. Pic/Istock

The Supreme Court on Friday directed alleged ‘conman’ Sukesh Chandrashekhar to appear via video conferencing mode before a CBI Court, Chennai, in a money laundering case registered against him there.

A bench headed by Justices UU Lalit allowed the application filed by investigating agency seeking Chandrashekhar’s appearance through video conferencing mode, as he is required to be produced in Chennai in a CBI court.

As the matter came up for hearing, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for CBI, told the bench that taking him to Chennai would leave another person duped, he can dupe people in each and every stage.

Chandrashekhar is lodged in Tihar jail on charges of money laundering and duping several persons and claimed a threat to his life in the prison.

He and his wife had earlier approached the top court seeking transfer from Tihar Jail to any other prison outside Delhi on the ground of threat to his life.

Also Read: ED questions Jacqueline Fernandez in conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar case

Earlier, the apex court had asked Chandrashekhar to provide it with the names of Tihar jail officials to whom payment of 12.5 crores was made on his behalf along with payment details. It had asked him to give the names of people who made the payment on his behalf and who took the money.

The bench had said it will go into the root of the matter of whether Chandrasekhar was a victim of extortion in jail or he was bribing jail officials to run his syndicate or extortion racket from Tihar jail.

Senior advocate R Basant appearing for Chandrashekhar had told the apex court that his client continuously faces threats to his life from the jail staff and protection money was being sought from him. He had alleged that the Tihar prison authorities have extorted around Rs 12.5 crore from him in the last two years.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) had said that while inside Tihar jail he was running a crime syndicate, paying Rs 1.5 crores every month for facilities like using phones to pass messages to persons from his syndicate and some jail officials were on his monthly payroll.

It said charges against him were serious and he impersonated as judges and government officials and conned people of hundreds of crores from jail.

ED had also sought prosecution of Chandrashekhar for perjury claiming that he has 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 on him.

Opposing Chandrashekhar’s plea for transfer to another jail, ED had said that Chandrashekhar used to call models and celebrities to his jail in collusion with prison staff, who have been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered against them.

ED had told the top court that Chandrashekhar indulged in money laundering, extortion, and impersonation of public officials including that of those holding constitutional posts.

He is charged with many multi-crore fraud cases and is also accused of extorting Rs 200 crore from the family of former Fortis Healthcare and Ranbaxy Lab promoters Shivinder and Malvinder Singh from the premises of the prison.

He was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery instance allegedly involving former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others.

A number of women Bollywood actors and models have been questioned by the ED for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar.

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