New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): A Delhi court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 on the charges of supplying confidential and sensitive information allegedly to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana on Saturday while passing the order stated, “The allegations against the accused are serious in nature. The investigation is at a crucial juncture as the complete money trail is yet to be traced and releasing the accused on bail at this stage would not be salubrious to the cause of justice, as the accused would definitely attempt to wipe off the footprints and cover up the traces.””Considering the totality of circumstances, I do not find any merits in the application at hand and the same is accordingly dismissed,” the Court said.
Advocate Amish Aggarwala with Advocates Aditya Singh Jakhar and Karan Ahuja argued on behalf of Journalist Rajeev Sharma and appeared in the matter.
Earlier on Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana sent Sharma to judicial custody for 14 days at the request of ED.
Seeking remand of Sharma, ED had stated that unearthing the end-use of funds involved in the instant case would assist in ascertaining the exact quantum of the proceeds of crime, determining the role of various other persons and aides who facilitated the offense of money laundering in the instant case.
Rajeev Sharma was arrested by ED under the PMLA on July 1, 2021, on the charges of supplying confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration.
The ED initiated an investigation on the basis of the FIR and charge sheet filed by Delhi Police against Sharma under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
Earlier, ED had stated that, during the investigation, it was revealed that Sharma had supplied confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration thereby compromising the security and national interests of India.
ED also stated that it was further revealed that cash for remuneration of Rajeev Sharma and other unidentified persons was being generated through hawala means by Mahipalpur-based shell companies that were run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha, and Quing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara.
“Apart from cash, huge transactions were made with various Chinese companies and some other trading companies in India which are being examined. These Chinese companies were acting as a conduit for the Chinese Intelligence agencies to provide remuneration for persons like Rajeev Sharma who indulged in criminal activities. Rajeev Sharma also received money through benami bank accounts in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities,” said the ED.
Earlier Delhi Police had arrested Rajeev Sharma under various sections of the IPC and Official Secrets Acts. Later he was granted bail by the Delhi High Court. (ANI)