HC seeks govt stand on journalist Rajeev Sharma bail plea

·2-min read

New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the state on the bail plea of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Chinese intelligence.

Justice Anu Malhotra issued notice to Delhi Police and asked it to file a status report before the next date of hearing on December 2.

Additional Public Prosecutor Kewal Singh Ahuja, appearing for the police, accepted the notice and assured the court that a status report would be filed before the next date of hearing.

Sharma, who was arrested on September 14, has alleged that the police tampered with and fabricated evidence after he was taken into custody.

He moved the high court after his plea for bail was dismissed by the magisterial court on September 28 and by the sessions court on October 19.

Sharma, 61, represented by senior advocate Adish Aggarwala, has claimed that he is suffering from an acute case of sinus problems for which he has undergone two surgeries in the past, requires constant treatment from a nebulizer and was, therefore, at high risk of contracting COVID-19 infection.

According to the petition, police received information from Indian intelligence agencies to the effect that he was allegedly having links with Chinese intelligence officers and was receiving funds from his handler for conveying sensitive information having a bearing on national security and foreign relations.

The Sessions court had dismissed his bail plea on the grounds that sufficiently grave and incriminating material was available on record against him.

The court had further said it was also evident that the family members of the accused were attempting to influence the witnesses.

Delhi Police Special Cell had said that Sharma was 'found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents'.

It has claimed that the other two accused were paying Sharma large amounts of money routed through shell companies. PTI HMP SA