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Espionage case: Delhi HC seeks response from journalist Rajeev Sharma on ED plea challenging trial court order

·3 min read
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought a response from freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested in a money laundering case regarding leakage of sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, on the Enforcement Directorate's plea challenging trial court's recent order directing the ED to supply ECIR copy to the accused.

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri on Thursday issued a notice to Journalist and listed the matter for detailed arguments on September 28.

On July 22, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Sharma had ordered the ED to supply ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) copy to the accused. "I am of the considered opinion that applicant/accused Rajeev Sharma is entitled for the supply of a copy of ECIR by the Enforcement Directorate," said the ASJ.

The same trial court had dismissed the bail plea of Rajeev Sharma, who was recently arrested by ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 on the charges of supplying confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration.

Advocates Amish Aggarwala with Aditya Singh Jakhar and Karan Ahuja argued on behalf of Rajeev Sharma and appeared in the matter.

Earlier while seeking remand 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 offence of money laundering in the instant case.

The Directorate of Enforcement had arrested Rajeev Sharma under the PMLA on July 1, 2021.

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, the ED 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.

The 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 in the case.

However, on July 3 this year, the ED arrested Sharma under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. (ANI)

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