Sanjay Pandey, a former police commissioner in Mumbai, was granted bail on Thursday by the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case involving allegations of unlawful phone tapping and employee snooping at the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Justice Jasmeet Singh declared, “The application is allowed, and the applicant is granted bail.”
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently looking into a money laundering case that stems from a CBI FIR filed against Pandey and his company, iSec Services Private Limited, for allegedly breaking the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Telegraph Act, and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to the CBI, iSec in conspiracy with other accused persons illegally intercepted MTNL lines at the NSE between 2009 and 2017 and recorded calls by various NSE officials. It has been claimed that iSec conducted telephone monitoring without obtaining the appropriate authority’s approval, as required by the Indian Telegraph Act, and also without the workers of the NSE’s knowledge or consent.
On July 19, the ED detained Pandey, who was thereafter taken into judicial custody.
The trial court had denied Pandey’s request for bail in the case in August and stated that the evidence presented prima facie demonstrated that he was actively involved in the execution of the call recording and monitoring at the NSE and was in direct contact with both bourse staff members and those of the iSec Services Pvt Ltd, the company he founded and which was responsible of the NSE’s cyber security audit.
The trial court had remarked that the information gathered by the investigating officer “prima facie” demonstrated that the retired IPS officer was in de facto control of the affairs of iSec even after 2006, when he quit as a director, and continued to attend meetings with NSE officials.
It had stated that the suspicion of the investigating agency that the applicant may influence witnesses or tamper with the evidence was not without merit since he served as the chief of the Mumbai Police till June 30, 2022.
The former CEO and MD of the NSE, Chitra Ramkrishna, was arrested by the ED on July 14 in connection with the phone tapping investigation.
In the CBI case involving the NSE co-location scam, Ramkrishna was already imprisoned at the time. On September 28, she was given bail in this situation.