Corporate espionage case : Accused may be charged against Official Secrets Act, say Police

New Delhi(web team): Five senior executives from top energy firms and two consultants were among seven more people arrested on Friday night in the sensational corporate espionage scandal in which classified documents including an input for upcoming Finance Minister’s budget speech were allegedly leaked. With this, the total number of arrests in the case busted yesterday rose to 12.
Latest Updates:

17:53 IST Saturday, 21 February 2015
Documents recovered from the five corporate executives, arrested in connection with Petroleum Ministry leak case, are related to “national security aspect” and charges under the Official Secrets Act might also be invoked in the matter, the Delhi Police claimed before a court in Delhi. Read more.

17:13 IST Saturday, 21 February 2015

Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum Minister promises strictest action against the accused caught in the Corporate Espionage case.

15:05 IST Saturday, 21 February 2015

Arrested journalist Shantanu Saikia has now claimed that it is a Rs 10 thousand crore scam.

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The strictest form of punishment will be given regardless of power or influence: Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Min

Corporate espionage case: Raids on office of petrochemical firm​

Intensifying its probe into the sensational corporate espionage scandal, Delhi Police Crime Branch on Saturday raided the office of a petrochemical company in Noida after it searched the office of arrested energy consultant Prayas Jain.​ Read more:

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I was doing a cover up, it was a Rs10k crore scam: Accused in the documents leaked case at Delhi crime branch office

11:10 IST Saturday, 21 February 2015

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has now expressed his views about the sensational corporate espionage case. He has promised to take strong action against all the guilty person.

9:00 IST Saturday, 21 February 2015

Arvind Kejriwal has tweeted about the high-profile corporate espionage case.

There are reports that police will continue their interrogation on Saturday too. Several top functionaries of various organisations are likely to be quizzed.

Earlier Updates

Five senior executives from top energy firms and two consultants were among seven more people arrested on Friday night in the sensational corporate espionage scandal in which classified documents including an input for upcoming Finance Minister’s budget speech were allegedly leaked. With this, the total number of arrests in the case busted yesterday rose to 12.

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Police is investigating the matter, we dont want to rule out any possibility: Rajnath Singh on leaked docs case

“We have arrested five persons. Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar, KK Naik from Cairns, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Rishi Anand from ADAG Reliance,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav on Friday night.

The arrests were made in the evening.

According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Chand, all these company executives were receivers of the stolen documents which have been recovered by police teams during raids from their establishments.

Saxena is Manager, corporate affairs, Reliance Industries Limited(RIL); Chandra is senior executive, Jubilant Energy; Anand is DGM, Reliance ADAG; Vinay is DGM, Essar and Naik is GM, Cairns India.

They have been booked under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property).

The alleged pilfering of ‘secret’ documents, which was thought to have been a racket confined to the Petroleum ministry, actually covered matters in finance, coal and power ministries, Delhi Police said.

22:35 IST Friday, 20 February 2015

Crime Branch arrests five more persons in connection with suspected case of corporate espionage.

17:42 IST Friday, 20 February 2015

Photocopies of “secret” documents including input for FM’s budget speech recovered: Police in documents leakage case

An input on the National Gas Grid for the upcoming Finance Minister’s budget speech is among the various “secret” documents Delhi Police has recovered from the accused in the corporate espionage case.

Besides, police has also recovered a letter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, according to the FIR in the case presented to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal, who heard the proceedings for remand of the accused.

“Photocopy of documents with heading input material on National Gas Grid for inclusion in Finance Minister’s budget speech 2015-16,” the crime branch has said in its FIR filed in the case.

Police has so far arrested seven persons, including two officials of the Petroleum ministry, in the case for offences punishable under IPC Sections 457 (trespass), 380 (theft), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine forged documents), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention).

16:15 IST Friday, 20 February 2015

The police alleged that “incriminating” documents of the Coal, Power and other ministries were recovered from the possession of the accused who were supplying these to certain corporate houses for their benefit.

Regarding the other three accused– Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey, the police said they were not required for custodial interrogation, so they be remanded in judicial custody.

The court after hearing the submissions, remanded the four accused in police custody till February 23 while the three others were sent to two weeks judicial custody.

Compliments del police 4 bursting espionage rkt. During interogations, police shud try to reach top people, who wud benefit from leaked info

On the alleged roles of the accused, the police said Chaubey was driving the car in which “secret and confidential” documents were recovered while Asharam and Ishwar Singh used to pass on information from the Petroleum Ministry to him.

Asharam, who was working in the Petroleum Ministry, used to switch off the CCTV cameras installed in the ministry after which his sons Prasad and Rakesh used to enter the premises by using fake entry cards which they had procured by paying Rs 4,000 each, the police said.

Delhi Police top cop BS Bassi also addressed the press. He said that more info will be shared once probe proceeds.

Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage, police on Thursday arrested two Oil Ministry officials, a Reliance Industries(RIL) staffer and two other middlemen for allegedly leaking classified government documents to energy companies for money.

“We have arrested Prayas Jain and Shantanu Saikia in this connection. Both of them are energy consultants who received stolen documents,” said a senior police official.

While Saikia is a former journalist who runs a web portal on petroleum issues and has his office in Defence Colony, Jain runs his consultancy firm in Patel Nagar.

Both of them will be produced in court around noon.

Raids on Thursday were conducted at several establishments including a prominent building in Connaught Place which houses offices of a leading private petroleum firm believed to be RIL.

In a case reminiscent of the Spy scandal in mid 80s, some journalists who claimed to be independent energy consultants, and employees of certain petro companies were also said to have been detained for questioning in the development that has set off sensation in political and corporate circles.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi had said that action was taken on a tip off that two persons along with their associates were involved in “procuring, obtaining and stealing the official documents by trespassing into the offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at Shastri Bhawan on February 17.”

“A trap was laid and three persons came in an Indigo car near Shastri Bhawan. Two persons alighted and went inside while the third remained sitting in the car. After around two hours, when the two persons entered the car, all three persons were apprehended,” he said.

They were identified as Lalta Prasad (36), Rakesh Kumar (30) and Raj Kumar Chaubey (39). Official documents were recovered from them.

Reliance Industries said it has been brought to the company’s notice that one personnel has been detained by law-enforcement authorities.