Espionage case: Delhi HC denies bail to Nepalese national

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 14-11-2022 21:59 IST | Created: 14-11-2022 21:59 IST
Espionage case: Delhi HC denies bail to Nepalese national
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The Delhi High Court Monday denied bail to a Nepalese national accused of being co-director of a Chinese firm through whom sensitive information was being passed on to Chinese intelligence officers, saying the gravity of offence was affecting the national security of the country.

The high court denied the relief to accused Sher Singh saying that no ground for grant of bail made out.

"… in view of the gravity of the offence affecting the national security of the country, there is no ground for grant of bail and the bail application is declined," Justice Anu Malhotra said.

While passing the verdict, the high court took into account the allegations levelled against the applicant accused, who was claimed to be co-director of a Chinese company through whom secret/confidential/sensitive documents were allegedly being conveyed by co-accused Rajeev Sharma, a freelance journalist, to Chinese intelligence officers.

Singh was arrested after an FIR was lodged by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in September 2020 on a lead provided by Sharma under the provisions of Official Secrets Act and for the offence of criminal conspiracy under the IPC.

The accused claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case and that he was illiterate and a Nepal citizen and was working in Delhi with a company named MZ Mall Pvt Ltd as a peon-cum-driver.

According to Singh, he was not aware of the business profile of the company and to his understanding, the firm was involved in the pharmaceutical sector.

He claimed that in January, 2020 Zhang Zheng alias Suraj and Zhang Lixia alias Usha departed to China for a short visit on personal reasons and after their departure all the flights to and from China were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they could not return to India. He said they handled the company's business from China.

Opposing the bail plea, the Special Cell submitted that Zhang Zheng alias Suraj, a Chinese national, was the director of two companies and accused Sher Singh was a co-director of one of these firms and he, along with Qing Shi, was operating these companies on behalf of Zhang Zheng and his wife Zhang Lixia as both of them were in China.

The status report of the Delhi Police said that co-accused Rajeev Sharma was being funded through these shell companies on the directions of Chinese intelligence officers as remuneration for the information provided to them by him.

The high court also said in its order that it was expected that the observations made by it in a 2018 order are expeditiously explored to be implemented by the registrar general of the high court.

In the 2018 order, the high court had asked the registrar general to explore the possibility of creation of a database and software for the district courts of Delhi for updation of the date in relation to the pending remand applications during the course of investigation pending before the trial courts with the dates of arrest and dates by when the requisite chargesheet is to be filed in terms of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The court had said it shall also mention the date when the chargesheet has been filed which would assist the trial courts in preservation of the rights of personal liberties of the accused appearing before them by informing them on coming to know that an accused person before them is entitled to the indefeasible right of default bail and may thus exercise the same if he or she is willing to furnish bail.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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