New Delhi: In a setback to AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran, a Delhi court on Saturday framed charges including attempts to bribe Election Commission officials in the “Two Leaves” symbol bribery case after rejecting his plea for discharge.
Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj framed charges under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 8 (bribes to influence public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Dhinakaran.
The court has also framed criminal conspiracy and other charges against Dhinakaran’s aide Sukesh Chandrashekhar and two others in the case filed and probed by Delhi police.
After they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial, the court listed the matter for December 17 for recording the statements of prosecution witnesses in the case.
Meanwhile, the court discharged five other accused in the case due to lack of evidence.
Dhinakaran, now an independent MLA and heading the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), is accused of having tried to bribe Election Commission officials to get the “Two Leaves” poll symbol for the faction led by his aunt V.K. Sasikala in the wake of the split in the AIADMK following the death of J. Jayalalithaa. He was arrested on April 25 last year. He was granted bail on June 1 2017. The bribe amount is said to be of the order of Rs.50 crore.
The Delhi Police on July 14 last year chargesheeted Sukesh Chandrashekhar, an aide of Dhinakaran under various sections of the Indian Penal Code related to forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, making a false document and criminal conspiracy among others and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Later, in December 2017 police filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case naming Dhinakaran, his long-time friend Mallikarjuna, alleged middleman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, and others as accused in the case.
The police said a criminal conspiracy was hatched by Chandrashekhar, Dhinakaran and others to bribe the Election Commission officials.
The money recovered from Chandrashekhar was sent by Dhinakaran through illegal channels with the help of others, the police alleged.