New Delhi [India], November 11 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from the Special Cell of Delhi Police on the bail plea of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act.
A bench of Justice Anu Malhotra directed the police to file a status report on the bail plea moved by Sharma's counsel senior advocate Dr Adish C Aggarwala and lawyers Aditya Singh and Akshat Goel, and listed the matter for further hearing on December 2.
The counsel representing the Delhi Police also informed the court that a chargesheet will be filed in the case on or before December 12.
The bail plea said that the applicant is innocent and a false case has been registered against him and that the allegations in the First Information Report (FIR) prima facie do not disclose any offence.
"The documents/information which have been allegedly seized from the petitioner are general documents and nothing relating to the Official Secret Act. It is humbly submitted that this court may itself peruse the said documents," the plea said.
It submitted that the investigating agency has alleged that material collected against the accused include document posing a threat to national security and foreign relations.
"Document/s, if any seized are general documents and do not bear any bearing on national security and foreign relations. Any general document cannot be termed as a threat, even prima facie, without a perusal of the said documents. It is strange that the police has captioned the 79 documents secret defense documents without confirming it with the Ministry," the plea said.
"No one from the Ministry of Defense has been named in the case. A person guilty unless there are substantial accusations having adequate proof. Any act of fair journalism cannot be scuttled by imposing the draconian provisions of the OSA," it added.
Earlier Dharma's bail plea was dismissed by a trial court, which had observed, "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 trial court had also noted that the conduct of the family members of the applicant accused, it is evident that they are attempting to influence the witnesses and added that such an approach is really a cause of serious concern.
Rajeev Sharma and two others were arrested by the Special Cell under Official Secrets Act, accusing him of passing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence. Sharma was arrested on September 14.
According to the police, a Chinese woman and her Nepalese associate were also arrested for paying him large amounts of money routed through shell companies. Delhi Police Special Cell said Sharma, a resident of Pitampura in New Delhi, was "found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents. (ANI)