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SC Orders Suspension of Tihar Officials for Conniving With Ex-Unitech Promoters

On 26 August, court had ordered shifting of Chandra brothers, in a money laundering case involving Unitech company.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>On 26 August, the top court ordered shifting of Chandra brothers following a report by the Enforcement Directorate.</p></div>
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After the Delhi Police Commissioner identified several Tihar Jail officials for extending undue assistance to ex-Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 6 October, ordered their immediate suspension and launched a probe against them.

On 26 August, the top court had directed a transfer of Chandra brothers, in a money laundering case involving Unitech company, to separate jails in Mumbai.

The Delhi Police informed the top court that a criminal case has been lodged against the jail officials under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, IANS reported.

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In view of the Delhi Police report, A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah aid prima facie, it appears that prison officials have connived with the accused, IANS reported.

The order came after Delhi Police chief Rakesh Asthana submitted seeking permission for a thorough criminal investigation against "the person mentioned and also against the unknown persons who are not mentioned."

What Happened in Court

"We direct those officials of Tihar Jail, who were prima facie found to be complicit, will be suspended for the time being till the pendency of proceedings," the order said, IANS rpeorted.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Chandra brothers, demanded the top court to provide them access to forensic auditor Grant Thornton's report, which is necessary for the accused to defend themselves.

Singh reiterated that he should be allowed to defend against the backdrop of Grant Thornton report. However, the bench declined Singh's plea to access the report.

Singh claimed that he didn't want your lordships "to repent later" over untimely action. Acknowledging the threat, the bench stated, "what is this language? This is not the way to argue - to say you will repent later," NDTV quoted.

A heated exchange proceeded to take place between the bench and Singh, as he alleged that the top court was proceeding in an ex-parte manner/

In an agitated tone, Singh stated, "You have arrested my father, my wife, arrest my children also. Put us all behind bars."

To this, the Justice DY Chandrachud asserted, "Do not raise your voice. Listen to us," NDTV quoted.

Background

The top court had ordered transfer of Chandra brothers on 26 August after a report by the Enforcement Directorate claimed that it has found a "secret underground office," which was being operated by their father and Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra.

As per the report, both his sons Sanjay and Ajay visited the office while they were on bail.

The agency had alleged that it was done in collusion with the Tihar Jail authorities. The top court had observed that brothers attempted to undermine its jurisdiction.

(With inputs from IANS)

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