Sanjay Bhandari might still be in India: Delhi Police

New Delhi: Delhi Police today said arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari might still be in India as there are no clues to suggest that he left by immigration channels, following reports he might have fled to London via Nepal.

Police said they have checked all the ports and he hasn’t left India through immigration channels.

His lookout notice was opened long time back and that’s the legal procedure which was taken care of. The information that he has gone via Nepal is based on conjectures and he might be in India, a senior crime branch officer said.

The Crime Branch, which is probing an Official Secrets Act case against Bhandari, has sent him several notices but he has remained underground and hasn’t joined the probe till now, he added.

Police had registered a case in connection with the recovery of confidential documents of the Ministry of Defence from the residence of Bhandari and his associate during an IT raid in April this year.

“The Income Tax had raided Bhandari’s residence in south Delhi’s Defence Colony in April and recovered confidential defence-related documents.

“The OSA case was registered against Bhandari and his aide in New Delhi district’s Parliament Street police station.

After a month of probe by the local police, the case was transferred to Crime Branch in November,” the officer said.

During the searches carried out by the Income Tax Department, papers of the Defence Ministry, including those related to a much-delayed proposal to buy mid-air refuellers, were allegedly recovered from his premises.

The FIR was registered in October on a complaint by a senior Defence Ministry official that the documents and copies of classified papers recovered during the raid were violative of the Official Secrets Act.

The copies of documents recovered during the raid were allegedly related to defence purchases and proposals placed before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). There were also allegedly copies of minutes of the Contract Negotiation Committee meeting for purchasing refuellers.

As per the FIR, the searches were also conducted at a Defence Colony premises occupied by Bhandari’s close associate Ashok Shankar.

The I-T Department had been carrying out an investigation against Bhandari and the offset company in a tax evasion case when they stumbled upon the confidential papers and copies of documents of the Defence Ministry during the raids, they said.