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Espionage case: Session court dismisses bail petition of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma

ANI | Updated: Oct 20, 2020 23:23 IST

New Delhi [India], October 20 (ANI): A Session Court in Patiala House Court complex on Tuesday dismissed the bail petition of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, accused of espionage under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in a case registered by Delhi Police's Special Cell.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana, while dismissing the bail plea said, "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 court also noted that 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 allegations against the accused are well-founded. 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.

ASJ Dharmender Rana also said, "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.
Recently, a magistrate court had dismissed the bail plea of journalist Rajeev Sharma. The Magistrate court while dismissing the bail had observed that, if a journalist who is an important brick in the fourth pillar of democracy decides to act with the intention to destabilise and negatively impact the sustainability and survival of democracy, that would be the darkest day in the free press movement.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat while rejecting the bail plea noted that, if the accused released on bail at this stage, he may attempt to hamper the investigation.
Rajeev Sharma was arrested by Special Cell under the Official Secrets Act, having been accused 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)