Published On: Thu, Jan 23rd, 2020

Graft case: Bizman, DRI official in HC against trial court order to provide password of phones

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday agreed to hear pleas of a businessman and a senior DRI official arrested by the CBI in connection with a Rs 3-crore bribery case, challenging a trial court order to provide passwords of their seized phones to the agency. The pleas were mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which allowed them to be listed for hearing during the day.

Delhi High Court today agreed to hear pleas of a businessman and a senior DRI official arrested by the CBI in connection with a Rs 3-crore bribery case, challenging a trial court order to provide passwords of their seized phones to the agency.

The petitions were later listed before Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar and are yet to be taken up. The lawyers appearing for petitioners Chander Shekhar, the DRI official, and businessman Rajesh Dhanda told the high court that a CBI court on Wednesday directed them to provide the password of their phones in violation of their right to privacy and against self incrimination.

Thereafter, the agency on the same day issued them a notice to appear before it on Thursday at 1pm. The trial court order came on CBI’s application seeking directions to the accused to unlock their phones seized at the time of arrest.

The petition has challenged the trial court order and the CBI notice. Dhanda was arrested on January 1 by CBI along with Shekhar, then DRI Additional Director General (ADG) of Ludhiana, in connection with the case.

A third person, Anoop Joshi, a clearing house agent, was also arrested by CBI. Dhanda was later granted bail by the trial court on January 16.

According to CBI, in June 2019, the DRI had conducted a search at a private clearing agency which provides services to various exporters, and some documents pertaining to an exporter were also seized. According to a complaint received by the agency, Joshi and Dhanda, a close friend of Shekhar, allegedly demanded Rs 3 crore on behalf of the public servant for ensuring the complainant is not implicated by the DRI over documents recovered.

The agency arrested Joshi and Dhanda while allegedly receiving Rs 25 lakh as first installment of the bribe demanded by them on behalf of the officer, the CBI had said at the time of the arrest.

PTI

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