The court said there was sufficiently grave evidence against Sharma, and added that his family members were trying to influence witnesses in the case.
A Delhi court has dimissed the bail application of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act, on the ground that sufficiently grave and incriminating material was available on record against him.
The court further said it was also evident that the family members of the accused were attempting to influence the witnesses.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana denied relief to Sharma and said that based on the evidence available the allegations against the accused were well founded.
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 Cr.P.C., 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 the order passed on October 19.
The judge further noted that recovery of the sensitive documents viewed against 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 accused was having links with foreign intelligence officer and had been receiving funds from his handler through illegal means and Western Union money transfers platform for conveying sensitive information, having bearing on national security and foreign relations, to his handler based abroad through electronic means.
Considering the seriousness of allegations, enormity of charge 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 the bail.
Delhi Police Special Cell had said that Sharma, arrested on September 14, was “found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents”.
It said that the other two accused were paying Sharma large amounts of money routed through shell companies.