Petroleum Ministry document leak: Former journalist, Reliance Industries man among 6 arrested

By: | Updated: February 20, 2015 1:10 PM

Executives of at least 4 leading energy firms, Including RIL, and dozen others are being questioned for their alleged involvement in leak of documents from Oil Ministry.

Petroleum Ministry, Petroleum Ministry document leak, Petroleum document leak, corporate espionagePetroleum Ministry document leak: Office of Reliance Industries Ltd, Barakhamba road, where raid was conducted in New Delhi . Express photo By Amit Mehra

Santanu Saikia, a former journalist who now runs a news website, is the sixth person to be arrested in connection with the leak of classified documents from the Petroleum Ministry to energy companies for money. Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage. Delhi Police on Thursday has arrested two Oil Ministry officials and three other middlemen as late night raids were conducted on offices of some of these firms.

The journalist was among those called in for questioning at the inter-state cell of the police crime branch in Chanakyapuri yesterday.

Executives of at least four leading energy firms, two consultancy companies and a dozen others are being questioned for their alleged involvement in leak of official documents from the Petroleum Ministry, Delhi Police said Thursday. The sweep follows the arrest of five men including two government employees.

Police sources said executives of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), Essar Group and Cairn India were being questioned and searches were being conducted at several places. Police Commissioner B S Bassi said official documents were photocopied and leaked in return for money and investigators would soon apprehend the recipients of the papers.

“Confidential documents were leaked to certain independent consultants and energy companies, some of whom are being interrogated. We have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC. We will analyse the documents that we have recovered and see if the Official Secrets Act needs to be invoked. The nature of the documents is being studied. We have also identified recipients of these documents. More arrests are likely,” Bassi said.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said strong action would be taken against two employees of his ministry who were arrested by police. Sources said the questioning of those arrested also revealed the possible involvement of a senior official.

“They will be dealt with severely. Police are probing the case. We will take strong action against the guilty. The government will come down hard on them,” Pradhan said. Asked whether any corporate lobbyist could be involved, he said it was for the police to investigate. “The government was conscious. Agencies are investigating. They will come out with full facts,” he said.

The police crime branch made the arrests after the ministry was put under surveillance following a break-in at the office of a director-level official almost a month ago.

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