Upendra Rai case: Agencies mulling fresh charges for illegally obtaining CDRs

Upendra Rai case: Agencies mulling fresh charges for illegally obtaining CDRs

Delhi-based journalist Upendra Rai (L) being produced in a CBI court in New Delhi on Friday. Rai has been arrested for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions and getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (

Investigating agencies are mulling pressing criminal charges under the Telegraph Act as part of their corruption and money-laundering probe against journalist Upendra Rai and others after they claimed to have recovered the call detail records (CDRs) of a senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) official and an IAS officer, who was earlier posted in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

PTI had first reported yesterday that the ED and the CBI had seized the CDRs of some senior government officials, following a recent raid on the premises of Sanjay Snehi, an associate of Rai.

At least 10 CDRs, including one of a senior ED officer probing the Supreme Court-monitored Aircel-Maxis case and another of an IAS officer who served as a joint secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs a few years ago, were recovered.

Sources said the ED officer was also probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam, in which a firm where Rai was employed was under the scanner, and the IAS officer was supervising the affairs of the said company during her tenure in the ministry for alleged misappropriation of funds.

Charges under various sections of the Indian Telegraph Act like sections 24 (unlawfully attempting to learn contents of messages), 25 (intentionally damaging or tampering with telegraphs), 26 (telegraph officer or other official making away with or altering messages) and 31 (bribery) could be pressed in light of new revelations, official sources said.

Obtaining CDRs was a cognizable offence, they said, adding that the ED and the CBI would exchange notes on the new development.

The offences under the said provisions were punishable with prison terms, they said.

Apart from the CDRs, the probe agencies have claimed to have recovered a number of other "incriminating documents" like a confidential communication between the Indian High Commission in Singapore and a former ED chief.

The recoveries also include income tax assessment orders of various companies and suspicious transaction reports (STRs) of nearly 140 firms, generated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The searches also resulted in the seizure of a confidential note dating back to 2010, which was written by a former additional director of the ED who is now a senior officer in the Delhi Police to the then CBI director, "complaining" about the activities of Rai.

The ED is also in the process of collecting the details of assets owned by Rai and others for possible attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED and the CBI are probing Rai for alleged offences under the PMLA and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Rai is currently in judicial custody after the CBI arrested him on charges of extortion and manipulation of an Income Tax department case against a Mumbai-based businessman.