Espionage: Delhi court reserves verdict on bail plea of journalist
New Delhi, July 17: A Delhi court on Friday reserved an order on bail plea of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of supplying sensitive and confidential information to Chinese intelligence officials for money.
The court had on Wednesday sent Sharma to judicial custody for 14 days at the request of the ED, which arrested him earlier this month under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
Earlier, while sending him in remand, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana had said, "Considering the totality of circumstances, I am of the considered opinion that the prosecution has set out a case for further custodial interrogation of the accused."
While seeking his custody, the ED has said that unearthing the end-use of funds involved in the instant case would assist in ascertaining the exact quantum of the proceeds of crime and determining the role of various other persons and aides who facilitated the offence of money laundering in the instant case.
The ED initiated an investigation on the basis of an FIR and chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police against Sharma under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
During investigation, the ED had said it was found that Sharma has compromised the security and national interests of India by providing sensitive information to Chinese officers in exchange for a remuneration.
It further said cash for remuneration of Sharma and other unidentified persons was being generated through hawala means by Mahipalpur-based shell companies that were run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha, and Quing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara.
Sharma has also received money through benami bank accounts in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities, said the ED.
The Delhi Police had arrested the journalist under various sections of the IPC and Official Secrets Acts.
He was later granted bail by the Delhi High Court.
Sharma was represented by Advocate Amish Agarwala, Advocate Rajat Bhatia and Advocate Karan Ahuja.