New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) A Delhi court on Monday reserved its order after hearing the arguments on the bail application filed by freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma in the Chinese espionage case.
On September 14, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested the 61-year-old journalist for allegedly working for Chinese intelligence. During search of a house, a laptop, some confidential documents related to Indian defence and incriminating papers were seized.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat heard the contentions put forth by the Delhi Police and Sharma’s counsel for one and a half hours and reserved the matter for order, said senior advocate Adish C. Aggarwala, representing the accused.
In the bail application moved by advocate Amish Aggarwala and Adish Aggarwala, Sharma claimed innocence, asserting that he did not commit any crime and has been framed in a false case. “The applicant has not committed any offence,” his plea added.
In the written submission before the court on Monday, Sharma’s counsel said that he has been illegally detained, and the police have deliberately made vague accusations about his confessional statements.
“It is undisputed by the prosecution that the applicant has clear antecedents, and there is no possibility of him fleeing justice, influencing witnesses or tampering with evidence,” the written submission further stated.
Pursuant to Sharma’s arrest, Chinese woman Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra were also arrested as they were found supplying Sharma with huge amounts of money, routed through hawala channels, for conveying sensitive information to Chinese intelligence.
According to the police, an input was received from an intelligence agency that Sharma had links with a foreign intelligence officer and has been receiving funds from his handler, through illegal means and Western Union money transfer, for conveying sensitive information about national security and foreign relations.
A case under Section 3 (possession of any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information, which relates to munitions of war), 4 (Communications with foreign agents) and 5 (Wrongful communication of information) of the Official Secrets Act was registered on September 13 and Sharma arrested the next day.
On interrogation, Rajeev Sharma allegedly disclosed his involvement in the procurement of secret and sensitive information and conveying the same to his Chinese handlers Michael and George, based in Kunming, China, through different digital channels. He further is said to have disclosed that he was about to send these recovered secret documents to his handlers.