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2 Oil Ministry officials among five held for alleged leak of classified info to corporates

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 19, 2015

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Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan strong action will be taken against the two employees of his Ministry who have been arrested



In a case of suspected corporate espionage, five people — including two Petroleum Ministry officials and a former journalist — were detained by the Delhi Police for leaking confidential information. The role of two petroleum companies in the affair is also being investigated by the police.

The drama unfolded after the police laid a trap at Shastri Bhavan, where some of the key Ministries are housed. “We had information that some people were photocopying documents and giving them to others for a reward,” Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi told newspersons here, without giving out any names.

Three people, who were in possession of the documents, were arrested, he said, adding that the documents were obtained by individuals linked to companies operating in the energy sector.

‘Recipients identified’

“We questioned them and also caught hold of the others who were assisting them. We have identified the recipients of the documents and are questioning them,” he said. Bassi said the accused will be charged under the Official Secrets Act.

He also said that the suspects had been posing as independent energy consultants.

The issue threatened to take a political colour with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleging that such incidents were commonplace during the previous UPA regime.

He said the new government has put some strict measures in place in this regard and the condition has improved.

“We had put surveillance on them…. They (suspects) will be severely dealt with,” he said.

Pradhan said strong action will be taken against the two employees of his Ministry who were arrested.

Reliance response

A spokesperson for Reliance Industries, where one of the arrested is employed, said: “It has been brought to our notice that one personnel has been detained by law-enforcement authorities. We are unaware of more details. An internal probe is under way as per our robust internal standards.

“The matter is under investigation as per law and we are determined to cooperate in every possible manner.

“We are already in International Arbitration with the said Ministry on all important matters. Our only expectation is a fair and expeditious resolution of our legal rights and contentions by the Arbitrators.”

Published on February 19, 2015
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