Free Press Journal

Corporate espionage: Secretaries of Home and MoPNG to respond



New Delhi: A Delhi court today sought reports from the Home and Petroleum ministries about the nature of documents recovered by the investigators during their probe into the alleged secret documents leak case. It asked the secretaries of Ministries of Home Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) to file reports after it was informed by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police that they have not yet received any report from MoPNG on the nature of documents.

“Investigating officer (IO) submits that no report has been filed by the MoPNG. He further submits that no report has been received. Since no report has been filed by the MoPNG, this court would like to have response of Secretary, MoPNG and Home, being the administrative incharge and in control of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) under his jurisdiction,” Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kapoor said.

The court said this would be the last opportunity to file the report and asked them to file it “positively” by April 15. The court was hearing the bail petitions of six accused, including five corporate executives, arrested in connection with the case along with others. The court on April 6 had directed the police to submit in three days a report from the MoPNG specifying whether the documents allegedly recovered in the case were classified.

As the hearing commenced today, the IO told the judge that they have sent reminders to the Ministry regarding the report but nothing has been received by them till date. Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for some of the accused, argued that his clients were arrested and the agency has to justify as to why they were required to be in custody now.

“The ministry (MoPNG) is not in a hurry. The ministry has not done anything. They have not filed any complaint yet. What is the purpose of keeping the accused in custody,” he said. He also said that offences under the OSA was not made out in the case as no documents related to defence, affecting the security and sovereignty of the nation, have been recovered.

The defence counsel, who appeared for the other accused, also said that no offence under OSA was made out in this case and the documents alleged to be recovered from the accused were mostly in public domain.