Senior advocate R. Basant, representing Sukesh, contended before the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala that the Director General (Prisons) at Tihar jail is trying to extort money from his client. Basant insisted on his client, who apprehends threat to his life, transfer to a jail outside Delhi. Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju contended that Sukesh had extorted Rs 300 crore from sitting inside the jail, and when authorities concerned are taking action, he wants a transfer to a jail outside Delhi.
The bench adjourned the matter after noting that the affidavit filed by the petitioners, Sukesh and his wife Leena Paulose, countering the Enforcement Directorate’s opposition to their transfer to a jail outside Delhi has not been placed on record.
The bench told Sukesh’s counsel that there is no urgency in hearing his plea to transfer him to a jail outside Delhi and the case can be taken up on re-opening of the court. Basant requested for a near date, however the bench did not entertain his submissions.
Basant raised apprehensions regarding the threat to his client’s life in prison, Justice Kant referred to the vacation bench’s order headed by Justice Bopanna, which was passed earlier this month, directing Sukesh should be shifted out of Tihar jail. “After Justice Bopanna’s order, nobody will touch you”, said Justice Kant.
The bench also asked Raju if Bhondsi jail in Gurugram can be considered as an option in the matter. He replied that it was not a viable option. Last week, the ED had proposed to shift Sukesh and his wife to Mandoli Jail in east Delhi. However, the petitioners’ counsel opposed this plea and urged the top court to transfer his client either to a jail in Bengaluru or outside Delhi.
The ED had opposed to the shifting of Sukesh from the Tihar jail and urged the top court to prosecute him under perjury for making false allegations of torture and assault on the jail premises.
Sukesh and his wife are currently lodged in Tihar Jail in cases related to cheating and extortion. They moved the apex court seeking transfer to any other jail citing threat to their lives. The prison authorities have denied allegations that he was assaulted within the jail and that the medical examination did not report any external injuries on him.
The top court, in its order passed on June 17, said: “In the facts and circumstances, without entering into the rival contentions, it would be appropriate to transfer the petitioners to some other jail so to allay the apprehension of all concerned. As requested, list on 20.06.2022 to enable the respondents to take a decision on the appropriate jail to which the petitioners can be transferred.”