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EC bribery: ED files case against AIADMK leader Dinakaran under PMLA

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-05-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday registered a case against T.T.V. Dinakaran, nephew of jailed All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V.K. Sasikala, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The move came a day after Dinakaran and one of his aides were sent to 14 days’ judicial custody by Delhi’s Patiala House court. Delhi Police’s Crime Branch is also investigating Dinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to get the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol allotted to the ruling faction of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, a government official said on condition of anonymity.

ED officials said that the agency had registered a criminal case under relevant sections of PMLA after taking cognizance of a first information report filed by Delhi police in the matter.

The agency will probe the possible “proceeds of crime” as part of its charter under the anti-money laundering law.

“We have registered a case in the matter and will soon serve summons to the accused. As of now, we cannot volunteer more information since its investigation is in the nascent stages,” said a senior ED official, requesting anonymity.

On 17 April, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch booked Dinakaran and Sukesh Chandrashekhar for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials with Rs50 crore in exchange for the party’s frozen ‘two leaves’ symbol.

The arrests came amid apparent merger attempts by the two factions of the AIADMK—one headed by Dinakaran’s aunt and ‘interim’ general secretary Sasikala, jailed after being convicted of possessing assets disproportionate to her income, and the other by ousted chief minister O. Panneerselvam. Before being jailed, Sasikala anointed Edappadi K. Palaniswami as chief minister.

The two leaves symbol was frozen by the Election Commission after the party split in the run-up to bypolls for the R.K. Nagar assembly seat that was held by the late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.

On 26 April, after three days of intensive questioning by Delhi police, Dinakaran was arrested, following which on 27 April, Delhi’s Patiala House court sent him and his aide to five days’ police custody.

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