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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who is lodged in Tihar Jail since April 2017 in connection with a Rs 200 crore extortion case, is likely to be transferred from the high-security prison in the national capital to another jail out of Delhi following the latest development on his ‘life threat’ plea in the Supreme Court.
During the last hearing on Friday, his counsel expressed the ‘willingness’ of his client to shift from Tihar jail, saying he can even go to a “jail in Andaman Nicobar islands”.
However, the bench said that it is a “tourist place”.
“We won’t send you there as it is a tourist place. You can be sent to some other state,” the court said.
The basic ground of his plea was that he is ‘entitled to the security of his life’, pointing out that there are threats to his life inside the jail.
“Given the facts and circumstances, without entering into the rival contentions, it would be appropriate to transfer the petitioner to some other jail so as to allay the apprehension of all concerned,” the apex court said in its order after hearing the arguments.
Now, as per the apex court’s suggestion, the Centre has to come up with a decision on Monday regarding shifting of the celebrity conman from Tihar.
Unstoppable conman inside Tihar
32-year-old Chandrashekhar, a native of Bengaluru, faces 15 FIRs and his crimes were intended to lead a lavish life for which he duped people of several crores in Bengaluru and Chennai.
Chandrashekhar, who landed in judicial custody since April 28, 2017, was initially lodged in Jail No. 1 in Tihar before he was shifted to Jail No. 7, 4, 8, 3, 10 and 4. He returned to Jain No. 1 in January this year and has been lodged there ever since.
However, the irresistible tendency of his criminal mind was not settled even inside the high-security prison.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police has reportedly written to Tihar Jail authorities to take action against 82 jail officials who allegedly helped the multimillionaire conman by providing him luxury facilities inside the prison.
He even extorted over Rs 200 crore from the wife of a jailed billionaire on the pretext of helping her husband get out of prison.
During the extortion calls to the woman, Chandrashekhar posed as Union Law Secretary Anoop Kumar and offered help in getting bail for her husband.
In August 2020, he used a spoofing app to pretend that he was calling from then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s home. Interestingly, before disconnecting every call, Chandrashekhar used to say ‘Jai Hind’.
Allegations against Tihar officials
Chandrashekhar recently moved the Delhi High Court alleging that the Tihar prison authorities have extorted around Rs 12.5 crore from him in the last two years. The court has sought response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on this plea.
Talking to IANS, Chandrashekhar’s counsel Ashok K. Singh said: “A request has been made to the CBI to probe the matter. The matter in question is very serious in nature, which involves most senior jail officers, including the DG of Tihar jail, as they are involved in an extortion racket being run from inside the jail. They threaten the prisoners and extort money from their family members in the name of safety of life and comfort inside the jail.”
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Geetanjli Goel had also sought a report from the Tihar Jail superintendent on Chandrashekhar’s plea stating that he has apprehension of a ‘threat to his life’, requesting the court not to transfer his cell in the high-security prison.
In his plea, Chandrashekhar alleged that the DG (Prisons) is putting pressure on him to sign documents besides trying to shift him to Jail No. 3 from Jail No. 1, where he is currently lodged.