Santanu Saikia

Santanu Saikia, who runs niche media websites and among other similar sites, has been arrested in Delhi with 11 others in a case which reportedly involves confidential government document leaks. Saikia, also an energy consultant, claimed that his arrest was an attempt to cover-up a Rs 10,000 crore scam that he was trying to uncover, reports The Financial Express.

Police claim to have recovered documents related to national security from petroleum company offices it raided last week, which might attract charges under the Official Secrets Act. The five petroleum company executives that were produced in front of the Delhi court were Reliance Industries’ Shailesh Saxena, Essar’s Vinay Kumar, Cairns’ KK Naik, Jubilant Energy’s Subhash Chandra and Reliance ADAG’s Rishi Anand. These five have been booked under IPC section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property). Seven other arrested, including Saikia, had been presented before the court earlier last week.

Budget inputs leaked?

The documents seized by Delhi Police include documents that were supposed to be part of the Union Budget to be delivered later this week, reports The Hindu. Delhi Police have apparently recovered documents belonging to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of Petroleum, Coal and Power, including documents related to gas pricing as well as National Gas Grid inputs from the Finance Minister’s Budget speech 2015-16. The report also mentions that a letter from the Principal Secretary to the PM and files from the Oil Ministry’s exploration wing were also part of the documents recovered by the police. Apparently, confidential documents were also seized from Saikia’s house.

The Ministry set up a secret investigation to increase surveillance through CCTV cameras in various offices eventually leading to a trap set by the Delhi Police. Certain rooms in Shastri Bhavan were compromised as duplicate keys were made to locks along with duplicate ID cards giving officials access to the house of Ministries, as indicated by this Economic Times report. The operation was discovered 8 months ago, sometime around June 2014, when an important document was found in a photocopy machine.

Privately held and headquartered in Delhi, Indian Petro Group states that they are “India’s most trusted market intelligence, research and consultancy firm with a diverse presence in the hydrocarbon space”. Setup in 2001, the group provides news, reports, data and business intelligence with respect to gas, oil, power, petrochemical and fertiliser sections and says it has over 500 clients.

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