Petroleum Ministry documents leak case: Delhi Police arrest journalist, CEO


New Delhi: The Delhi Police has arrested a journalist and a company’s CEO in connection with leaking of classified documents from the Petroleum Ministry.

Santanu Saikia, who runs an energy portal, and Metis Business Solutions Pvt Ltd CEO Prayas Jain were detained late last night and questioned till the wee hours today in connection with the incident. They were later arrested.

More people are likely to be arrested in connection with the case today.

In a case that caused reverberations in political circles, the Delhi Police on Thursday said that it had arrested two employees of the Petroleum Ministry and three others for stealing official documents and leaking them to corporate houses.

The theft of the secret documents had been taking place in the office of the ministry located in high-security Shastri Bhavan, located a stone’s throw from the Parliament house, and housing offices of several ministers.

Petroleum Minister Dharamendra Pradhan said that strict action will be taken against those involved in the case and they will be “severely dealt with”.

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said the “secret papers” were photocopied after office hours by the arrested who used duplicate keys to open the offices after entering Shastri Bhawan on forged identity cards and temporary passes obtained fraudulently. The documents were passed on to some corporate houses in return for rewards, he added.

“All those who are recipients of stolen documents will be questioned and action taken. If the documents fall under the purview of the Official Secrets Act, then the relevant sections will also be imposed,” he told reporters.

Sources said that Crime Branch officials raided several private companies on Thursday.

Bassi said that the two employees arrested by the Crime Branch were part of multi-tasking staff (MTS), while two were former staffers and one a driver who has not worked at the ministry.

“They had been involved in the act for a long time,” he said, adding a case has been registered against the five for stealing, forgery, trespass and criminal conspiracy.

According to reports, one of the arrested is an employee of the Reliance Industries. Launching a “robust internal probe” into the detention of its employee, the RIL said no information of commercial consequence to it resides in the ministry with which it is in arbitration in several cases.