Stolen papers could impact national security: police

Combo picture shows plainclothesmen escorting some of the accused in the Petroleum Ministry espionage case being taken to the Patiala House Courts complex from the Delhi Police Crime Branch’s Inter State Cell in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: V. Sudershan   | Photo Credit: V_Sudershan

The investigations into the smuggling of official documents out of government offices are likely to bring within its ambit several senior executives of private firms already named in the case, the Delhi Police told a city court on Saturday.

The police also told the court that beyond commercial implications, the smuggled documents had a significant bearing on national security.

The documents seized from executives of five companies — Reliance Industries, Essar, Cairn India, Jubiliant Energy and Anil Dhirubahai Ambani Group — who are under arrest had been analysed by the seniors in these companies, the police said. The beneficiaries of the stolen documents had to be identified.

The police submitted a list of documents seized from the possession of the Reliance executive, stating that similar documents had been recovered from the other four executives.

Both the investigating officer and an ACP of the Crime Branch submitted that the offence had a bearing on national security and that “the accused had taken the nation for a ride.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Crime Branch on Saturday raided the office of petrochemical company Jubilant Energy after they arrested its senior executive Subhash Chandra late on Friday. The company could not be contacted for comment.

A high-level police source told The Hindu that the number of arrests could go up to more than 25, and that officials of the Non-renewable energy, Coal, Petroleum and Gas Ministries are under the scanner.

Mr. Chandra was also taken to the office of Prayas Jain, one of the arrested consultants. From there, he was taken to the Noida office of Jubilant Energy where his office and some other rooms were searched by the police to recover stolen documents.

Police seized the laptops of both Mr. Chandra and Mr. Jain and have sent them for forensic investigation.

Distancing itself from the case, Essar on Saturday ascribed blame to its employee arrested in the case.

“The company reiterates that neither it has directly nor has it authorised anybody to conduct any acts not in compliance with law,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

A Reliance Power spokesperson said: “We are not aware of the circumstances in which one of our junior employees has allegedly been arrested.”

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:12:03 PM |

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