Petro Gate: Police file charge sheet against 13 accused
New Delhi: Delhi Police today filed charge sheet against 13 persons arrested in connection with the Petroleum Ministry document leak case.
Crime Branch of Delhi Police filed the charge sheet before Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain, who fixed April 20 for its consideration.
According to police sources, the accused have been charge sheeted for the alleged offences punishable under sections 457 (trespass), 380 (theft), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine forged documents), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of IPC.
The court fixed the 44-page charge sheet for consideration before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal, who was on leave today.
The police have arrayed 42 prosecution witnesses in the case.
Police sources said that provisions of the stringent Official Secrets Act (OSA) have not been invoked against the accused yet and further investigation is going on.
On April 15, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in its report had told the court that eight documents recovered from the accused in the case were classified in nature and none of documents seized from them were in public domain.
Among the 13 accused are five corporate executives– Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar, K K Naik from Cairns India, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Rishi Anand from Reliance ADAG.
Other eight accused are Ishwar Singh, Asharam, Rajkumar Chaubey, Lalta Prasad, Rakesh Kumar, Virender Kumar, energy consultant Prayas Jain and journalist Shantanu Saikia.
All the accused are in judicial custody.
On April 10, the court had sought reports from the Home and the Petroleum ministries about the nature of documents recovered by the investigators during their probe.
On February 20, police had arrested the five accused corporate executives alleging that they used to procure the classified documents from other arrested accused Lalta Prasad and Rakesh, and used to pay them.
The documents were then supplied to the firms by these officials for their benefit, the police had alleged.
A total of 16 people have been arrested so far in connection with the two separate FIRs lodged by Crime Branch.
Following is the chronology of events in the Corporate Espionage case in which Crime Branch of Delhi police today filed charge sheet against 13 accused, including five executives, in a court here:
* Feb 19: Accused Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey arrested and sent to one day police custody.
* Feb 20: Court sends co-accused Lalta Prasad, Rakesh Kumar, Prayas Jain and Shantanu Saikia to four day police custody.
* Feb 20: Five corporate executives Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar, K K Naik from Cairns India, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Rishi Anand from Reliance ADAG arrested for procuring classified documents from other arrested accused.
* Feb 21: Five accused corporate executives sent to three days police custody.
* Feb 24: Defence Ministry staff member Virender Kumar arrested for allegedly stealing an identity card of an auditor at Indian Defence Accounts Service and providing the same to Lalta Prasad.
* Mar 24: Bail applications of five corporate executives dismissed by the court.
* Apr 10: Court seeks reports from MoPNG and MHA on status of documents recovered from the accused on their fresh bail pleas.
* Apr 15: MoPNG submits 2 reports, says 8 classified documents recovered from accused.
* Apr 18: Charge sheet filed against 13 accused in the case.