Paid ₹10 crore to AAP Minister Satyender Jain for ‘protection’ in jail: ‘Conman’ Sukesh Chandrashekhar

The allegations are an attempt to divert attention from the Morbi incident, says AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal

November 01, 2022 04:26 pm | Updated November 02, 2022 02:22 am IST - New Delhi:

Jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekar being escorted to appear in a court. File.

Jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekar being escorted to appear in a court. File. | Photo Credit: J. Manoharan

Alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar has written to Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, alleging that he has paid ₹10 crore to jailed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Minister Satyender Jain as “protection money” and to get facilities in jail, sources in the L-G House said on Tuesday. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal termed the allegations as completely false and said that this issue is being raised to divert attention from the bridge collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi.

In a letter dated October 7, Mr. Chandrashekhar said, “In 2019, I was visited by Mr. Jain and his secretary and his close friend Sushil in jail, asking me to pay ₹2 crore every month to him as protection money to live safely in the jail and to get even the basic facilities provided.” “A total amount of ₹10 crore was extorted from me in the matter of two-three months through constant pressure,” he alleged.

Mr. Chandrashekhar also said that he has known Mr. Jain since 2015, and has “contributed more than ₹50 crore” to the AAP in the past for an “important party post” in southern India and a Rajya Sabha seat following the party’s expansion in the region.

Mr. Chandrashekhar is currently lodged in Delhi’s Mandoli jail in a case related to a ₹200 crore extortion racket run when he was in the Rohini jail. He is also under trial for purported money laundering and allegedly duping several people and was first arrested in 2017 for allegedly taking money to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get the AIADMK ‘two leaves’ symbol for the V. K. Sasikala faction in a byelection to the R.K. Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, the L-G has forwarded Mr. Chandrashekhar’s complaint to the Chief Secretary for “necessary action”, a source at the Raj Niwas confirmed.

‘Fictious story’

In response, Mr. Kejriwal said, ”Day before yesterday, the Morbi incident happens. Yesterday, 24-hours all TV channels raised the issue of Morbi. And today, suddenly Morbi has been disappeared from TV channels and Sukesh Chdrashekhar’s allegations are running on channels. To divert attention from Morbi, a completely fictitious and false story has been planted.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, said the two issues should not be linked. At a press conference here, BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh said, “Both the incidents were different. One is a national tragedy and the other is a matter of corruption and we should see them as they are.” He also said that the Morbi bridge collapse was a painful incident and an enquiry will be conducted into it. “The culprits will not be spared,” Mr. Singh added.

BJP State unit chief Adesh Gupta demanded Mr. Jain’s removal from the ministerial post and said “Mr. Kejriwal’s Jail Minister is a mahathag [super con] who conned a con”. “Jail Minister Mr. Jain is running his racket from the jail itself,” he alleged.

Advocate Ashok Kumar Singh, who represents Mr. Chandrashekhar and submitted the letter to the L-G on his behalf, said he did not know how it got leaked in the media now even though it was sent to the Raj Niwas on October 10. “I had met my client [Mr. Chandrashekhar] on October 7 when he gave me a hand-written letter, which I submitted to the L-G on October 10 with a covering letter. We had already complained the same to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), and had to approach the L-G as the agencies did not take any action on this.”

Earlier on Sunday, the ED, in an affidavit submitted to a Delhi court, alleged that Mr. Jain was getting unfair advantage of his position in jail and also trying to influence the probe by meeting the co-accused in the case on a regular basis. The agency submitted a CCTV footage and claimed that the AAP leader was getting massages, home-cooked food inside the prison.

‘₹12.50 crore paid to DG Prison’

Mr. Chandrashekhar also alleged that Mr. Jain “asked him to pay ₹1.50 crore [every month] to his loyal associate DG Prison Sandeep Goyal”. “In total ₹12.50 crore were paid to Mr. Goyal,” he said in the letter, while adding that the money was collected “in Kolkata through his [Mr. Jain’s] associate Chatturwedi every time”. Mr. Goyal refused to comment on the allegations.

He also claimed that after his arrest in 2017, Mr. Jain visited him in the Tihar jail multiple times and “asked if I had disclosed to the investigating agencies related to my contribution to the AAP”. Although the alleged conman added that he had disclosed about “[the] DG Prison and the racket run by him and the jail administration” to the ED during a recent interrogation. He had also filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking a CBI enquiry in the matter, Mr. Chandrashekhar added.

Requesting Mr. Saxena to direct the investigating agency to file a case based on his complaint, he accused Mr. Jain of threatening him “through the DG Prison and jail administration asking me to withdraw my complaint filed in the Delhi High Court”.

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