The Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned hearing till September 20, on a bail application filed by Delhi-based freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering probe linked to alleged supply of sensitive information to Chinese intelligence agencies.
The Bench, headed by Justice Mukta Gupta, was informed by Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju that an application has been moved by the Enforcement Directorate under Section 14 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, praying for the court proceedings to be held in-camera, as there are sensitive documents involved.
Senior Counsel Mohit Mathur, representing Sharma, opposed the application, claiming that these are not proceedings under the Official Secrets Act.
The Bench placed the matter at the End of the Board. However, when the matter was called out at the end of the board, the Bench was informed that both Mathur and Raju were on legs in some other matter.
The Bench had, on the previous occasion, sought response from Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter, and directed the agency to file a status report within two weeks. Recently, a Delhi Court took cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Sharma under Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, for alleged involvement in money laundering case.
On September 14 last year, Sharma was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in connection with alleged leak of confidential information to Chinese intelligence agencies. A Chinese woman and a person of Nepali origin were also arrested on the trail of Sharma, for allegedly running shell companies through which they received money from Chinese agencies.
Sharma was granted regular bail by the Delhi High Court in December last year. Subsequently, on July 1, 2021, ED arrested Sharma on the basis of the case filed by Delhi Police last year.