Arrested journalist Rajeev Sharma’s wife flags ‘evidence fabrication’ by Delhi police

The wife of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma has written a letter to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, claiming that the interrogation of her husband is illegal

Arrested journalist Rajeev Sharma’s wife flags ‘evidence fabrication’ by Delhi police
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IANS

The wife of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was recently arrested under the Officials Secrets Act in an espionage case, has written a letter to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, claiming that the interrogation of her husband is illegal and that police has destroyed some material evidence and fabricated others.

On September 14, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police had arrested the 61-year-old journalist, allegedly found working for Chinese intelligence. During a search of his house in New Delhi's Pitampura, one laptop, some confidential documents related to the Indian Defence and incriminating papers were seized.

Sharma was sent to police custody after his arrest, which was further extended till September 28 by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat on Monday. Besides him, Chinese woman Qing Shi and Nepalese citizen Sher Singh were also sent to special cell's custody.

In a letter, Dr. Pratima Vyas wrote, "On the day of the arrest of my husband, police forced me to sign on a document, which both of us were not allowed to read. The police got signatures of our neighbour Mr. Joel Demello, on the seizure memo on the night of 14.9.2020, but yet again Mr. Demello was asked to sign some documents on 18.9.2020 at the office of Special Cell. It appears that the police have destroyed some material evidence and at the same time fabricated some evidence."

Dr. Vyas, in the letter dated September 23, brought to the notice of the Joint Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Special Cell that accused Rajeev Sharma's request for a lawyer to remain present during his interrogation was not allowed. "He was forced to sign and write as per the police dictation."

She added, "Police have not provided this facility of the presence of the lawyer with an objective of destruction of evidence and fabrication of evidence. In this situation, the interrogation of my husband has become illegal as he has been deprived of his right to have the presence of the lawyer of his choice."


Sharma's wife further contended that even after ten days of arrest, the lawyers have neither received the copy of the first information report (FIR) nor the remand applications. "We have still not received any copy of the FIR, although that is the right of the accused as per Hon'ble Supreme Court of India vide its order dated 7.9.2016."

She requested the special cell to direct the investigating officer to provide a copy of the FIR, copy of application of police remand dated September 14 and 21, "which police is legally bound to supply to the counsel of the accused as per the Delhi High Court Rules and D.K. Basu case."

Rajeev Sharma has also moved a bail plea in the court, which will come up for hearing on September 28. The application, moved by advocate Adish C. Aggarwal on Sharma's behalf, put forth that he is being framed in a false case and has not committed any offence.

Besides him, Chinese woman Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra were also arrested. They were found supplying the arrested scribe with huge amounts of money routed through hawala channels for conveying sensitive information to the Chinese Intelligence, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Special Cell Sanjeev Yadav had said.

An input was received from an intelligence agency that Rajeev Sharma, a resident of St. Xavier Apartment, Pitampura, New Delhi, had links with a foreign intelligence officer and has been receiving funds from his handler through illegal means and Western Union money transfer for conveying sensitive information about national security and foreign relations.

A case under section 3 (possession of any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information, which relates to munitions of war communicates), 4 (Communications with foreign agents) and 5 (Wrongful communication) of the Official Secrets Act was registered on September 13. Thereafter, Rajeev Sharma was arrested on September 14 and a warrant was obtained for searching his residential premises by the Delhi Police.

"On interrogation, Rajeev Sharma disclosed his involvement in the procurement of secret and sensitive information and conveying the same to his Chinese handlers Michael and George, based in Kunming, China, through different digital channels. He further disclosed that he was about to send these recovered secret documents to his handlers," Sanjeev Yadav said.

Police said that in the past also, Sharma had sent several documents in the form of reports to his handlers and got a handsome amount of money from them.


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