NSE phone tapping case: Delhi HC issues notice to ED, CBI on ex-Mumbai Police chief Sanjay Pandey petitions

16 August, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

delhi National

In response to the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey’s request for bail in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) phone tapping and spying case, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday serve...

In response to the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey’s request for bail in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) phone tapping and spying case, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday served notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He is currently being held in judicial custody after being detained by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on suspicion of money laundering in the case.

On Tuesday, the Court also gave the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) notice about further applications filed by Sanjay Pandey seeking the revocation of FIRs filed against him under different IPC, IT, and Telegraph Acts, among other provisions. After hearing Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s argument on behalf of petitioner Sanjay Pandey, the Justice Jasmeet Singh Bench on Tuesday set the issue for September 16, 2022.

In the ED case, the trial judge recently refused him bail and stated that it was not possible to rule out the accused’s involvement in the crime of money laundering as the Apex Court defined it, given the high possibility based on the evidence presented to the court.

Sanjay Pandey was the top policeman of the Mumbai police until June 30, 2022, therefore the trial court’s decision to deny him bail was based in part on the suspicions of the investigating agency and the prosecution that he may persuade witnesses or tamper with the evidence.

In his bail plea before the trial court, Sanjay 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.”

According to Sanjay Pandey’s bail petition, the current case is unmistakably driven by political interests. This is also clear from the fact that an alleged crime that occurred between 2009 and 2017 is being investigated in 2022, which is thirteen years after its alleged start and five years after its alleged end, and that too just a week after the applicant left his position.

Sanjay Pandey was represented by attorney Aditya Wadhwa and attorney Siddharth Sunil. They argued that the lengthy delay in the FIR’s filing raises severe concerns about the validity of the inquiry. Sanjay Pandey appears to have been accused in this case without any of his own doing and just to satisfy some sort of political grudge.

In support of ED, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Naveen Kumar Matta testified that Sanjay Pandey left his position in April 2000 and that there was litigation throughout his tenure from 2001 to 2006. VRS relocated in 2007 and withdrew that in October 2008. Even though he wasn’t the firm’s director when it was created in 2001, he was still employed and showed up to the meeting. He founded the corporation. Records show that he was in charge. Additionally, ED claimed that the contract was presented as Fake 120-B, which is a predicate felony and a criminal conspiracy. Lines from MTNL were tapped. 4.54 crores of this family-owned business’s revenue came from criminal activity.

The agency took action after allegedly finding sufficient evidence in the NSE co-location fraud, where it sought to understand the function of an audit firm founded in 2001 by the retired Mumbai Police chief for flagging a warning sign that the NSE servers had been corrupted. A trading company was able to get unfair access to the system thanks to the vulnerability, which led to unexpected gains.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been looking into the matter since 2018.

The company founded by Pandey is said to have been one of the IT firms charged with doing security assessments at NSE between 2010 and 2015, which is when the co-location fraud is said to have occurred.