The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Chinese intelligence. Justice Yogesh Khanna granted the relief to Sharma on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of the like amount, which shall be given by him within a week once the trial court resumes its normal functioning.
Sharma had sought statutory bail on the ground that the charge sheet was not filed within 60 days of his arrest. However, the trial court had held that in this case, the charge sheet can be filed within 90 days.
The high court set aside the magisterial court's order being illegal and said that in this case, the period for filing charge sheet would be 60 days. The petitioner is thus entitled to default bail; the challan having not been filed within 60 days, Justice Khanna said.
Sharma, 61, was arrested on September 14 by the Delhi Police Special Cell which has claimed that he was "found to be in possession of some defence-related classified documents". It has claimed that the other two accused in the case were paying Sharma large amounts of money, routed through shell companies.