NEW DELHI: As it intensified probe into the sensational corporate espionage, Delhi Police today said "national interest was taken for a ride" and talked about invoking Official Secrets Act against the 12 people arrested, including five corporate executives.
The police got three-day custody of the five corporate executives for questioning even while it raided the office of a petrochemical company in Noida after it searched the office of arrested energy consultant Prayas Jain.
More raids are possible, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said as he promised to reach the bottom of the whole thing.
While producing before a court here the five corporate executives who were arrested last night, Delhi Police said, "National interest was taken for a ride in the case. Documents relates to national security have also been recovered.
This may attract charges under the Official Secrets Act."
It sought their custody, saying the accused might tamper with the evidence if released at this stage.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal allowed the Crime Branch of Delhi Police to quiz them in their custody till February 24 as the police said charges under the OSA might also be invoked in the matter as documents related to national security have been recovered.
The five accused who were produced in the court are Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar, KK Naik from Cairns, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Rishi Anand from Reliance ADAG.
Saxena is Manager, corporate affairs, Reliance Industries Limited(RIL); Chandra is senior executive, Jubilant Energy; Anand is DGM, Reliance ADAG; Vinay is DGM, Essar and Naik is GM, Cairns India.
Seven people had been arrested earlier.
The police said the documents recovered from the accused showed that the same were perused by their senior officials who will also be questioned in the case.
The probe was at an initial stage and officials of the Petroleum Ministry and other ministries will look at the documents recovered during the investigation, police told the court while seeking custody of the five.
Police said they have to consult the officials of the concerned ministries regarding the documents seized from the accused as these materials might have bearing on the national security.
The advocates appearing for these five accused vehemently opposed the police's plea seeking three days police custody, contending that their clients have been illegally detained since February 18 and 19.
Police sources said that Chandra, arrested along with four other top officials of energy companies yesterday, was taken to Jain's office this morning.
After searching Jain's office, the police team took him to the Noida office of Jubilant Energy. His office and some other rooms were searched by the police to recover stolen documents.
"We have searched places which were necessary for the course of investigation. We may further raid places as our aim is to reach the bottom of the whole thing," Bassi said.
"We need to know since how long this has been going on and who all benefited from it," said a senior official.
According to police, all these company executives allegedly received stolen documents which have been recovered by police teams during raids from their establishments.
The five have been booked under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property).