Defence deals expose: HC turns down Anirudh's plea

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today turned down the plea of former director of Tehelka.com, Anirudh Bahal, challenging the transfer of a case lodged against him under the Official Secrets Act from a magistrate's court to a sessions court.

Bahal, who had exposed the alleged corruption in defence deals during the NDA regime in 2001, faces prosecution for illegally revealing the government's secret information on his news portal.

Bahal had challenged the transfer of the case. According to him, the Central government in 2006 had issued notification directing the High Court registry to transfer the case from the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) to a special sessions court.

Hearing his petition, a bench headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen denied him any relief. The court ordered that ''the impugned administrative decision validly transferred the pending case from the court of the CMM to the Sessions court.'' According to the CBI, two Home Ministry officials -- Neeraj Kumar, a section officer, and Thomas Mathew, a director -- had violated the Official Secrets Act by illegally revealing information to Tehelka reporters Samuel Mathew and Bahal.

Publication of several articles by the journalists in their portal bears testimony to it, the CBI argued.

UNI SSS ATI RP KN1714

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