The Delhi High Court Friday extended the interim custody bail granted to an accused, arrested in 2017 in the Election Commission (EC) bribery case allegedly involving AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others, for treatment of his ailing mother in Chennai.
A vacation bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Menon extended till July 2, the interim custody bail on the ground that accused Sukesh Chandrashekar's mother is seriously ill and requires hospitalisation and surgery.
"In the peculiar facts of the case, we extend the period of interim custody bail till July 2 subject to the conditions mentioned in June 4 order," the bench said.
Earlier he was granted the interim custody bail for two weeks.
The bench directed Chandrashekar to further deposit an amount of Rs five lakh with the Delhi Police towards the expenses of police escort towards lodging, boarding and other necessary expenses.
The court made it clear that the period spent by him during extension of interim custody bail shall not be counted as period undergone by him in custody.
It noted that the medical documents placed on record of the patient have been verified by the authorities.
Chandrashekar was granted interim custody bail on June 4 by the high court to meet his ailing mother in Chennai. As he availed the relief from June 7, the period was expiring on Friday, that is, June 18.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Parag Tripathi, representing Chandrashekar, said the accused' mother has to undergo a major surgery scheduled for June 24 and urged that the interim custody bail be extended by two weeks.
The plea was opposed by Delhi government additional standing counsel Avi Singh who said several police personnel have been diverted from their regular duties to Chennai and Chandrashekar is in interim custody bail because of his own conduct and he shall apply for interim bail.
The counsel had earlier argued that the accused has in the past abused the relief and liberty granted to him by attempting to suborn the police officials who were responsible for him during his remand.
Earlier, the high court had said it does not see any plausible cause or reasonable apprehension to deny custody interim bail to Chandrashekar.
It had then also directed him to deposit an advance of Rs five lakh with the Delhi Police towards the expenses of police escort for travelling by air to-and-from Chennai with him and also towards their lodging, boarding and other necessary expenses.
It had directed the accused to be stationed in Chennai at the address given by him and leave the place only when he needs to accompany his mother or consult doctors in relation to her medical condition and also made it clear that he shall not be entitled to presence of any personal guards and will not socialise with guests.
Chandrashekar was arrested in 2017 by the police. He is accused in 20 cases and has secured bail in 17 of them and is in custody in the remaining three cases.
A charge sheet was filed by the police before the trial court in the case on July 14, 2017, alleging that Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar had conspired to bribe EC officials to get the 'two leaves' symbol for their party.
The police have also included in the charge sheet allegations of forgery for the purpose of cheating, using forged documents as genuine, possessing a forged document, intending to use it as genuine and criminal conspiracy.
Chandrashekar was arrested for allegedly taking money from Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials to get the AIADMK 'two leaves' symbol for the Sasikala faction in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.
Dhinakaran, also charge sheeted by the police, was arrested on April 25, 2018 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK's symbol after the two factions-one led by Dhinakaran's aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam-staked a claim to it.