Corporate espionage: Court to hear arguments on bail on March 18

The arguments on the bail pleas of three corporate executives, arrested for their alleged roles in the Petroleum Ministry documents leak case, was on Monday deferred for two days by a Delhi court in view of the lawyers' strike.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015, 18:49 PM IST

New Delhi: The arguments on the bail pleas of three corporate executives, arrested for their alleged roles in the Petroleum Ministry documents leak case, was on Monday deferred for two days by a Delhi court in view of the lawyers' strike.

The lawyers abstained from work protesting the killing of an advocate in Allahabad district court premises allegedly by a policeman last week.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal, who was scheduled to hear arguments today on bail pleas of Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar and Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy, posted it for March 18.

Crime Branch of Delhi Police had earlier opposed the bail applications of these accused saying documents recovered from the arrested persons were being analysed to unearth a "deep rooted nexus" involving several persons who were "trespassing" in offices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

"If accused are released at this stage, they may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence which may adversely affect the investigation" the investigating officer had said.

The police had filed a written reply to the bail pleas saying that the probe was at a preliminary stage and the whole nexus was to be unearthed.

Earlier, the court had extended the judicial custody of six accused including the five corporate executives, who were arrested in the case, till March 19.

Besides the three accused who have filed the bail pleas, the two others corporate executives arrested in the case are Reliance ADAG's DGM Rishi Anand and Cairns India's GM K K Naik.

The Delhi Police had on February 20 arrested the five corporate executives alleging that they used to procure documents from other arrested accused Lalta Prasad and Rakesh, and they used to pay them.  

These documents were then supplied to the companies by these officials to benefit the firm, the police had alleged.

Five days later, Virender Kumar, a Defence Ministry staff member, was arrested for allegedly stealing an identity card of an auditor at Indian Defence Accounts Service and providing the same to one of the accused, Lalta Prasad, in the case.

Besides them, the police had also arrested Rakesh Kumar, Prayas Jain, Shantanu Saikia, Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey, who are also in judicial custody.

In a separate FIR, the police had arrested three others- Lokesh Sharma, an employee of a Noida-based consultancy firm, Jitender Nagpal, PS to Joint Secretary in Ministry of Forest and Environment and Vipan Kumar, PA to a UPSC member- and were sent to judicial custody till March 17.

A total of 16 people have been arrested so far in connection with the two separate FIRs lodged by Crime Branch.