Crime branch of the Delhi Police will investigate and identify people who in 2013 stole classified documents from the corporate affairs ministry offices in the high-security Shastri Bhawan.
The move comes a day after HT wrote that on November 15, 2013 confidential papers related to an alleged accounting fraud in Reebok India Limited were stolen from the offices of the director (inspection and investigation), corporate affairs ministry by his peon Ravinder Kumar.
“The crime branch officials have been roped in to investigate the case thoroughly. Whosoever is found guilty will face the heat,” Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi told HT on Tuesday.
In a statement, Adidas group, which now owns Reebok, denied “any association with the accused or co-accused”. “The company has no involvement whatsoever in the said case,” it said.
Crime branch is already investigating two cases of documents being stolen from oil and coal ministries and sold to private firms and consultancies.
The probe in the leak of documents from the oil ministry, which within five days has spread to the power and coal departments, and papers in possession of HT reveal that classified papers were being smuggled out of Shastri Bhawan much earlier than thought.
“Taj Hassan, special CP (crime), who is supervising the other two cases, will monitor this case as well,” Bassi said.
An FIR in the corporate ministry theft was registered on November 20, 2013.
The case being probed by sub-inspector Vijay Pal Dahiya failed to make much progress. Crime branch will look in to the investigation done by Dhaiya. “Strict action would be taken against police officials, if at any point it is found that any of them deliberately scuttled it,” a senior crime branch official said on condition of anonymity.
Ravinder Kumar’s interrogation revealed that he had passed on the stolen documents to one Imran, who he claimed, worked for Reebok India, documents in possession of HT say. While Kumar was released on bail, Imran was never arrested as the police could not find any evidence against him.
“Reebok India Company categorically denies any association with the accused or co-accused persons in this case. The said persons were neither employed nor engaged in any capacity for any work by the company at any point in time,” Adidas group said in a statement.
“As an organisation, it has been our policy to comply with the applicable laws, regulations and provisions of the country and we reiterate our commitment to support the authorities in their investigation of this case, as we have done in the past,” it said.