New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Ex- Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey in the National Stock Exchange phone tapping and snooping case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh on Thursday said that Sanjay Pandey's bail plea is allowed with some conditions. Pandey was arrested by the ED under money laundering charges in the case and is presently in judicial custody.
Pandey was represented in the matter by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi along with Aditya Wadhwa and Siddharth Sunil Advocates.
In August, the trial court had denied him bail in the matter and said that considering the broad probability based on the material placed before the court, the involvement of the accused in the offence of money laundering as defined by the Apex Court cannot be ruled out.
Furthermore, the applicant/Sanjay Pandey was the top cop of Mumbai police till 30.06.2022, hence apprehension of Investigating agency/ Prosecution that the applicant may influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence is not unfounded, said the trial court while denying him bail.
In bail plea before the trial court, Pandey stated that "he had investigated and prosecuted several high-profile and politically sensitive cases and the instant proceedings are a political fallout of honest and sincere discharge of his duties as a senior police officer."
The instant case is clearly motivated by political considerations. It is also evident from the fact that an offence that allegedly occurred between 2009 and 2017 is being investigated in 2022 i.e., thirteen years after its purported commencement and five years after its purported closure; and that too within a week of the Applicant demitting his office, stated Sanjay Pandey's bail petition.
Pandey's lawyer submitted that the huge delay in the registration of the said FIR raises serious doubts as to the bonafide of the investigation. It appears that the applicant (Sanjay Pandey) is arraigned in the present case, for no fault of his own, and only to fulfil some political vendetta.
For the ED, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Special Public Prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta had appeared and submitted that Pandey resigned in April 2000 and there was litigation between 2001-2006 over his service. VRS moved in 2007 and in October 2008 and he withdrew that. He formed a company incorporated in 2001 when this was incorporated he was still in service even if he was not the director of the company, he attended the meeting. We have records defacto he was in control. ED further submitted that the contract came in as facade 120-B is a predicate offense / criminal conspiracy held. MTNL lines were tapped. This company was a family concern and 4.54 crores were proceeds of crime.
The agency's move comes after it reportedly found enough evidence in the NSE co-location scam in which it wanted to know the role of an audit company, incorporated in 2001 by the retired Mumbai Police chief, for raising a red flag that the NSE servers were compromised. The compromise had allowed one of the trading companies to get unfair access to the system, resulting in windfall profits.
The case is already being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) since 2018.
It is alleged that the firm incorporated by Pandey was one of the IT companies tasked with conducting security audits at NSE from 2010 to 2015 when the co-location scam is believed to have taken place. (ANI)