New Delhi: Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), has approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail in a money laundering case related to alleged illegal phone tapping and snooping of national stock exchange (NSE) employees. Besides, he has also filed a separate petition seeking quashing of the FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the alleged offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and cheating under the Indian Penal Code, under various provisions of the Information Technology Act, Indian Telegraph Act, and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Both the petitions have been listed for hearing on August 16 before Justice Jasmeet Singh. Pandey has challenged a trial court’s August 4 order by which his bail plea was dismissed in the money laundering case.
The trial court had said the material available prima face showed he was actively involved in the execution of recording and monitoring of calls at the NSE and was directly communicating with the bourse staff as well as those of the iSec Services Pvt Ltd, the company he founded and which was responsible for the cyber security audit of the NSE. The trial court had noted that the material collected by the investigating officer prima face showed the retired IPS officer was in de facto control of the affairs of iSec even after 2006, when he resigned as a director, and kept attending the meetings with NSE officials.
It had said since the applicant was the chief of Mumbai Police till June 30, 2022, the apprehension of the investigating agency that he may influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence was not unfounded. In his petition seeking quashing of the FIR in the CBI case, Pandey contended that the FIR has been registered only to fulfill a political vendetta against him.
The plea said the FIR was wholly baseless and that no offence was made out. According to the CBI, iSec in conspiracy with other accused persons illegally intercepted the MTNL lines at the NSE between 2009 and 2017 and recorded calls by various NSE officials. It was alleged that the telephone monitoring was carried out by iSec without taking permission of the competent authority as required under the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and also without the knowledge or consent of the NSE employees.
Pandey, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 19, is currently in judicial custody. The ED had on July 14, arrested Chitra Ramkrishna, the former MD and CEO of the NSE in the phone tapping case.
Ramkrishna was then already in jail in the CBI case relating to the co-location scam at the NSE involving alleged manipulation of the bourse.