A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana denied relief to Sharma on Monday, saying there was sufficient grave and incriminating material available on record against him. “I am satisfied that there is sufficiently grave and incriminating material available on record against the applicant/accused. Upon perusal of the telegraph chat, statement of witnesses recorded under Section 164 CrPC, information retrieved from the email account of the applicant accused and the nature of documents seized from the possession of the accused, I am of the considered opinion that the allegations against the applicant accused are well founded,” the judge said in an order passed on October 19.
The judge further noted that recovery of sensitive documents from Shrama’s flat viewed against the receipt of money by the accused from tainted sources and his relationship with the foreign agents goes a long way against the plea of his innocence.
“Further, from the conduct of the family members of the applicant accused, it is evident that they are attempting to influence the witnesses. Such an approach is really a cause of serious concern,” the judge said.
While opposing the bail application, police said that the accused was having links with foreign intelligence officers and had been receiving funds from his handler through illegal means and was being paid to convey sensitive information regarding India’s national security and foreign relations.
“Considering the seriousness of allegations, enormity of charges and the crucial juncture of the pending investigation, I am of the opinion that applicant/accused does not deserve the indulgence of the court and his bail application is bereft of merits… The application is accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.
The accused, represented by senior advocate Adish Aggarwala, had approached the sessions court after a magisterial court on September 28, rejected his bail application.
Delhi Police Special Cell had said that Sharma, arrested on September 14, was “found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents.”