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Corporate espionage: More private secretaries, assistants to bureaucrats to be probed

Names of private secretaries and assistants of bureaucrats have cropped up in corporate espionage case which need to be probed, Delhi police told a court in New Delhi, which extended by three days the police custody of a person arrested for allegedly procuring sensitive documents from Ministries.

Lokesh Sharma, an employee of a Noida-based consultancy firm, was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satish Kumar Arora after completion of his five-day police remand.

Delhi Police, while seeking extension of his remand, said names of few more persons, including private secretaries and assistants of senior bureaucrats in the Ministries have cropped up which need to be investigated.

The agency said they need Mr. Sharma to confront him with the other two arrested accused — Jitender Nagpal, PS to Joint Secretary in Forest and Environment Ministry and Vipan Kumar, PA to a UPSC member — in the second FIR in the corporate espionage case.

Mr. Nagpal and Mr. Kumar were arrested on February 25, 2015 for allegedly procuring sensitive documents from Ministries.

“Plea for the extension of police custody for three more days is allowed,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate said while noting that the case is of serious nature.

The court also asked the Crime Branch to supply to the accused copies of FIR and other documents.

“The purpose is that he should know what allegations are levelled against him,” the court said, while asking the police to decide by March 3 that whether this case comes under Official Secrets Act or not.

Advocate D.K. Yeti, appearing for Mr. Sharma, however, opposed the custodial interrogation saying that his client has already been in police custody for five days which was more than required for the said purpose and the documents have already been recovered from him by the police.

“Several documents which were not supposed to be with him were recovered, including two original documents. The Crime Branch has informed that some data of the ministries which were yet to be published have been recovered from his possession,” the court noted.

The Crime branch had arrested Mr. Sharma on February 23, claiming that “sensitive” documents pertaining to ministries of Coal, Power and others were recovered from his possession.

A separate FIR was registered by the Crime Branch under sections of trespass, theft, criminal conspiracy and fraud in this case separately from the one involved in the Petroleum Ministry racket.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the two FIRs by the Crime Branch so far.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:27:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/corporate-espionage-more-private-secretaries-assistants-to-bureaucrats-to-be-probed/article6945751.ece

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