February 23, 2015 5:34:18 pm
The four accused, who were arrested in the corporate espionage case, were Monday remanded to judicial custody till March 6 by a Delhi court where they alleged that they were forced to sign on blank papers by the police during their custodial interrogation.
The four accused — Lalta Prasad, Rakesh Kumar, Prayas Jain and Shantanu Saikia — were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Dheeraj Mittal after expiry of their police custody.
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police said they be remanded to 11 days judicial custody as they were not required for further interrogation at this stage.
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for these four accused told the magistrate that their clients were forced to sign five-six blank papers during custodial interrogation.
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At this, the magistrate individually asked four accused whether they were forced to sign the papers or not.
Responding to the court’s query the accused said they were made to sign blank papers by the interrogators.
During the hearing, defence counsel also contended that the court should sign the case diary of the matter.
The court allowed the plea and directed the IO to get the case diary signed by it.
The court also allowed the submissions of defence counsel to meet their clients for ten minutes each.
The Crime Branch had earlier told the court that these four persons, along with other three arrested persons, were passing certain “sensitive documents” to some corporate houses to benefit them.
The other three accused — Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey — were on February 20 remanded to judicial custody for two weeks.
In its FIR, police had said that from the possession of accused Rakesh Kumar, photocopies of sensitive documents including input on FM’s budget speech have been recovered.
“Photocopy of documents with heading input material on National Gas Grid for inclusion in Finance Minister’s budget speech 2015-16,” it had said in its FIR filed in the case.
Detailing the alleged roles of accused, police had 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 had said.
Regarding Saikia, the police had said a huge amount of documents were recovered from his possession while Prasad used to illegally trespass in the Petroleum Ministry to procure the documents.
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