Phone tapping case: Delhi HC grants bail to ex-NSE chief Chitra Ramkrishna
The charge sheet was filed against NSE's Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey.
The Delhi High Court Thursday granted bail to former National Stock Exchange (NSE) Managing Director and CEO Chitra Ramkrishna in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) related to the alleged illegal phone tapping of employees. The ED in September last year, had filed a charge sheet in the Rouse Avenue Courts in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to phone tapping of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017.
The charge sheet was filed against NSE's Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey. Ramkrishna, who is already on bail in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s case, was granted bail by Justice Jasmeet Singh. Last year in August, Rouse Avenue Courts had denied her bail in the ED's case.
A copy of the detailed order is awaited.
On December 8, the High Court had also granted bail to former Mumbai Police chief Sanjay Pandey in the money laundering case. Justice Singh had observed that phone tapping or recording calls without the individual's permission is "breach of privacy". Justice Singh had mentioned that tapping phone lines or recording calls without consent violates the right to privacy according to Article 21 of the Constitution. "I am prima facie of the view that tapping phone lines or recording calls without consent is a breach of privacy. The right to privacy enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution demands that phone calls not be recorded. Only with consent of the individuals concerned, can such activity be carried out otherwise it will amount to breach of the fundamental right to privacy," Justice Singh had said.
The ED's case was on the basis of the CBI's FIR, lodged on the directions of Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The ED had claimed that Pandey received Rs 4.54 crore to tap the MTNL lines to help Ramkrishna and these were proceeds of crime. "Pandey ran iSec Securities Pvt. Ltd. It has been alleged that Ramkrishna used this firm to tap the phones of NSE employees. The phone calls made by NSE employees between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. were tapped and recorded by iSec Securities Pvt. Ltd. It has been alleged that Pandey helped in tapping the phone calls illegally," an agency source had said.
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