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[Espionage Case] 'Any Disclosure During Proceedings May Be Prejudicial To Safety Of State': ED Seeks In-Camera Hearing In Rajeev Sharma's Bail Plea

Nupur Thapliyal
10 Sep 2021 5:30 AM GMT
[Espionage Case] Any Disclosure During Proceedings May Be Prejudicial To Safety Of State: ED Seeks In-Camera Hearing In Rajeev Sharmas Bail Plea
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The Enforcement Directorate has moved an application before the Delhi High Court seeking in camera proceedings in the bail plea moved by freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma in connection with a case alleging that he supplied confidential information to Chinese Officials, in exchange of remuneration.It has been submitted by the Enforcement Directorate that any disclosure during the course...

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The Enforcement Directorate has moved an application before the Delhi High Court seeking in camera proceedings in the bail plea moved by freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma in connection with a case alleging that he supplied confidential information to Chinese Officials, in exchange of remuneration.

It has been submitted by the Enforcement Directorate that any disclosure during the course of proceedings relating to an offence under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 would be prejudicial to the safety of the State.

The application, moved under section 14 of Official Secrets Act, 1923, prays for exclusion of the public during the proceedings before the High Court.

"That in the interest of safety of the state and in the interest of justice, the present application u/s 14 of the Official Secrets Act, r/w Section 482 of Cr.P.C. is being moved and no prejudice will be caused to the Petitioner if the prayer in the present application is allowed by this Hon'ble Court," the application reads.

During the course of hearing on Thursday, ASG SV Raju apprised Justice Mukta Gupta about the filing of the aforesaid application. He argued that since the matter involves sensitive information, the proceedings must be allowed to happen in camera.

On the other hand, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur appearing for Sharma opposed the application by submitting that the said proceedings were not under the Official Secrets Act.

The matter was however adjourned to September 20 due to non-availability of the counsel appearing for ED as well as the accused in the post lunch session.

ED had initiated investigation on the basis of an FIR filed against Rajeev Sharma under the provisions of IPC, Official Secrets Act.

A charge-sheet was filed under section 120B IPC r/w offences u/s 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

It is the case of ED that Sharma had supplied confidential information to Chinese Officials in return of some remuneration, thereby compromising the security and national interest of the country.

Senior Advocate Mathur had submitted that the ED was mischievously carrying out the instant parallel proceedings pursuant to the investigation carried out by the Special Cell in order to harass Sharma. It was added that Sharma can explain each and every minute detail of the payments received by him and that he was absolutely innocent.

Case Title: Rajeev Sharma v. Enforcement Directorate

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