New Delhi: A special court today granted bail to two suspected ‘hawala’ operators arrested for their alleged roles in the Election Commission bribery case involving AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dhinakaran.
Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry allowed the bail pleas of Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar alias Babu bhai on furnishing of personal bonds of Rs two lakh each and two sureties of the like amount.
The court imposed on them several conditions, including that they would not tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.
It also directed the two accused not to leave the country without its permission and to surrender their passports.
Singh and Kumar were arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch on April 27 and May 18 respectively and were in custody since then.
They had sought bail contending that their custodial interrogation was not required and sought parity with Dhinakaran and his close aide Mallikarjuna who have already been enlarged on bail.
The police, however, had opposed their bail saying it was a serious crime and they could tamper with the evidence. Dhinakaran and Mallikarjuna were granted bail on June 2 by the court.
Police had claimed that Kumar was the one who allegedly handed over Rs one crore unaccounted money to an unidentified person which was to be given to the arrested accused and middleman Sukesh Chandrashekar.
It had alleged that the money was meant to bribe EC officials to get a favourable order in the pending party symbol matter involving Dhinakaran.
Regarding Singh, police had claimed that he was involved in illegal transfer of money and he was given Rs one crore to hand it over to Chandrashekar.
Dhinakaran was arrested here on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials for the symbol.
His faction had hoped to obtain the symbol for the bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu, which was later cancelled by the EC after the alleged irregularities were reported in the media.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who represented the constituency.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after two factions of the party — one led by Dhinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam — staked a claim to it.
Mallikarjuna was arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50-crore deal between Dhinakaran and Chandrashekar. Dhinakaran has been accused of arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels.