A bench of Justices S R Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the order on a plea filed by Chandrashekhar and his wife alleging a threat to their lives and seeking a transfer to a prison outside Delhi
Supreme Court of India. File Pic
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that alleged 'conman' Sukesh Chandrashekhar and his wife be shifted from Tihar jail to Mandoli jail in the city.
A bench of Justices S R Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the order on a plea filed by Chandrashekhar and his wife alleging a threat to their lives and seeking a transfer to a prison outside Delhi.
Chandrashekhar is lodged in jail on charges of alleged money laundering and duping several people.
"Having considered the materials on the record and also having regard to the order made on June 17, 2022, this court is of the opinion that in terms of the statement made by the respondent on June 23, 2022, the petitioners should be shifted to Mandoli jail. It is accordingly ordered," the bench said, adding they be shifted to the Mandoli jail within a week.
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"This is an order for both," the bench said orally.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju argued before the bench that Chandrashekhar is running an "extortion racket" and a "conning racket" from inside the Tihar Jail and several prison officials have been suspended.
He said Tihar Jail has become difficult for him to operate so he wants to be shifted to another prison so that he can start his racket again.
Senior advocate R Basant, appearing for Chandrashekhar and his wife, said they are lodged in Tihar jail and they have been treated "very unfairly" there.
He said Chandrashekhar's grievance is against high-ranking police officials and money was extorted from him for providing him security.
"The point is where is your right? Where is the perceptible threat?" the bench observed.
"If we have to accede to your client's request like this, we will be entertaining such petitions from all and sundry. There are five lakh prisoners in this country," it said.
The ASG argued that Chandrashekhar had persons working for him in Tihar jail, including some prison staff and they had provided him with sim cards and mobiles.
He said Chandrashekhar had called up persons from inside the jail posing as law minister and home secretary as well.
Also Read: SC allows Sukesh Chandrashekhar to appear via video conferencing before CBI court in Chennai
"He is trying to manage the media," Raju said, adding that Chandrashekhar is "loaded with cash" and he wanted certain articles to be published on the date when the hearing was to take place before the apex court.
The bench observed that the authorities have taken action against jail officials in the matter.
After the bench passed the order, the counsel appearing for the petitioners said that they had earlier given reasons why they should not be shifted to Mandoli jail.
"Please put me in a place where I am not harassed for extraneous reasons," the counsel said.
"The writ petition is dismissed subject to the above terms," the bench said in its order.
At the fag end of the hearing, the ASG said Chandrashekhar has extorted Rs 214 crore from a person and part of it has gone to Dubai.
When he said if Chandrashekhar still indulges in such activities, the bench observed the authority can take action.
The ASG referred to a letter, allegedly written by Chandrashekhar, and said it reads like a "crime novel".
During the hearing, the bench asked the petitioners' counsel about those to whom Chandrashekhar had given money.
"Why were you extorted?" the bench asked.
"For my safety," the counsel replied, adding that it is not in dispute that money was paid.
The apex court had on July 13 asked Chandrashekhar, who had claimed that Rs 12.5 crore was extorted from him by some officials at the Tihar Jail here, to submit the list of persons and details about the payments made on his behalf.
The bench had observed that the affidavit filed by the authority claimed that while being in jail, Chandrashekhar was allegedly running a crime syndicate and was paying money for getting the adequate facility to use mobile phones without any hindrance and to pass messages to persons from his syndicate.
On June 23, the Centre had proposed to the top court that if at all Chandrashekhar and his wife are to be shifted outside the Tihar Jail, then they should be lodged in Mandoli prison which is being guarded by paramilitary forces.
On June 21, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought prosecution of Chandrashekhar for perjury as it had claimed that he had 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 to him.
In an affidavit filed earlier by Director General (Prisons), Delhi Prisons, it was said that the contents of Chandrashekhar's application that he was assaulted in jail are vehemently denied as totally and wholly false and fabricated for the ulterior motive of seeking transfer to another prison to repeat his misdemeanours and offences.
On June 20, the ED had made some startling revelations against Chandrashekhar that he indulged in money laundering, extortion, impersonation of public officials including those holding constitutional posts, and had opposed his plea for prison transfer outside Delhi.
The probe agency has sought to intervene in the plea filed by Chandrashekhar and his wife.
The probe agency named several TV and Bollywood personalities with whom the alleged 'conman' has contacts and used to give them expensive gifts.
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