HC grants bail to journalist Rai in false information case

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to senior journalist Upendra Rai in a case related to using false information to obtain a pass to access sensitive areas in airports across the country, court sources said on Tuesday.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, in an order delivered on Monday, granted bail to Rai asking him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties of the like amount.

The court observed that Rai has been in custody for over eight months and the trial in the case is likely to take some time.

However, the court directed Rai not to do anything which may prejudice the investigation, trial or the prosecution witnesses in the case nor leave the country without permission. Rai was also directed to join investigation as and when required by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

On July 31 2018, CBI filed a chargesheet in the case naming for using false information to obtain a pass to access sensitive areas in airports across the country.

Rai, owner of Printlines Media Group and formerly employed with Tehelka, was arrested on May 3 for dubious transactions in his accounts to the tune of over Rs 100 crore during 2017-2018.

In its case filed on May 1, the CBI named Rai, Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd, its Chief Security Officer Prasun Roy, some unidentified public servants of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and others.

On May 5, the CBI filed the second FIR against Rai alleging that he took money from a Mumbai-based real estate company to settle an issue with income tax department and adverse media reporting. He was granted bail in the second case on December 11.

But Rai will not come out of jail as he continues to be judicial custody in another case related to money laundering, being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED has alleged that Rai took "undue advantage of his connections with several government officials" to gain access to confidential information available with them about the penal proceedings being contemplated against various defaulters, at times in advance.