All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) faction leader T T V Dinakaran, arrested for his alleged involved in the Election Commission bribery case, was on Thursday granted bail by a special court on the ground that the poll officials who were to be lured for getting divided AIADMK's 'two leaves' symbol, have not been identified.
Besides Dinakaran, Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry also allowed the bail application of his close aide Mallikarjuna, and directed the duo not to influence or tamper with the evidence or contact the witnesses. They were arrested on the night of April 25.
The court asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh each and two sureties of like amount and not to leave the country without its prior permission.
They shall also surrender their passport and join the investigation whenever called upon to do so, it said.
Regarding Dinakaran, the court said, "He is no more required for custodial interrogation. The CD containing alleged voices of applicant (Dinakaran) and co-accused (Mallikarjuna) has already been seized. "The mobile phone of applicant has also been seized and no other incriminating material remains to be recovered from him."
The judge said there is no apprehension of the accused absconding or fleeing from justice as he is the deputy general secretary of the AIADMK faction and has deep roots in the society.
Moreover, the EC officials who were to be lured by giving inducement to commit an illegal act have not been identified, the court said.
It said that without commenting on the merits, it was a fit case for release of the accused on bail. On the allegation in the FIR that Dinakaran was the alleged conspirator, the court said the material that has been collected leads to an inference that there was a conspiracy but this offence cannot be deemed to be established on mere suspicion or inference and it has to be proved by cogent and acceptable evidence during trial.
It also said the admissibility of a confessional statement against an accused was a matter to be considered at the time of trial.
Dinakaran, who had filed the bail plea through advocate Naveen Malhotra, had sought the relief on the ground that there was no reason to keep him in custody and no public servant was made an accused in the case, though he was booked on graft charges.
His plea was opposed by prosecutor Balbir Singh who had said he had conspired with others to undermine the sanctity of the electoral process through corrupt means and practices.
Mallikarjuna had sought bail, saying that no recovery was made at his instance and he had joined the investigation even though no summons were issued to him by the police. His bail application was also opposed by the police.
An alleged middleman in the case Sukesh Chandrashekar and suspected hawala operator Nathu Singh are in judicial custody till June 12.
Another accused Lalit Kumar, who was also alleged to be a hawala operator, is in judicial custody till June 5. The court has listed the bail pleas of Nathu Singh and Lalit Kumar for hearing on June 2 and 3 respectively.
The court had on May 22 dismissed the bail plea of Chandrashekar, saying it was not appropriate to grant him bail at this stage as it was a serious crime and he could tamper with the evidence.
Earlier, the police had sought the consent of Dinakaran and Chandrashekar for taking voice samples but both of them had refused.
Dhinakaran was arrested by Delhi Police Crime Branch in New Delhi on the night of April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe unidentified EC officials to get the undivided AIADMK's 'two leaves' election symbol.
His faction had hoped to obtain the symbol for the bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu, which was later cancelled by the EC after the alleged irregularities were reported in the media.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa who was elected from the constituency.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK's symbol after two factions of the party -- one led by Dinakaran's aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam -- staked claim to it.
Dinakaran has been accused of allegedly arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels. Mallikarjuna was arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50-crore deal between Dinakaran and Chandrashekar.