Paytm extortion case: Accused denied bail, family claims she is being framed
The defense lawyers also argued that the couple, Sonia Dhawan and Roopak Jain, had not seen their 8-year-old son for two days and should be granted bail. Family members of Dhawan are now planning to approach a higher court.Updated: Oct 24, 2018 17:35 IST
A local court on Tuesday denied bail to all three people, including the Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s secretary, who were arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to extort Rs 20 crore from him. However, the family of the secretary, Sonia Dhawan who was arrested along with her husband Roopak Jain, has alleged that the couple is being framed.
Earlier, in the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Vineet Choudhary, the lawyers representing Sonia denied their involvement in the case. “She had access to the data but had been employed there for 10 years. There was no reason for her to do anything of this sort. And her husband was not even an employee of the company, so his involvement is anyway not possible,” said the lawyers.
The defense lawyers also argued that the couple had not seen their eight-year-old son for two days and should be granted bail. “In fact, Roopak had himself received an extortion call for Rs 5 crore on September 22. The caller had threatened to harm their son after which a complaint had also been registered with the Sector 39 police,” argued the defense.
The prosecution, however, argued that the accused should remain in custody so that if the need arises, they can be questioned further.
The CJM in its order mentioned that these were non-bailable offences. “The allegations are severe. The facts and circumstances are not enough to grant bail. Hence, the bail is being denied,” said the court order, after which the accused were taken in judicial custody for 14 days.
The family members of Sonia are now planning to approach a higher court. They have alleged that she is innocent and is being framed. “My sister has given 10 years of her life to this company. She was working with them even before it became Paytm. For them to accuse her of something like this is unimaginable. And Roopak is not even an employee of the company. What has he got to do with this?” said Rupali, Sonia’s older sister.
In her defense, Sonia said that she was promoted to vice-president only a month back. “I also have shares worth Rs 25 crore in the company. There is no reason for me to have been involved in such a thing. It’s a conspiracy against me to undermine my position in the company,” Dhawan told HT on the court premises.
Ajay Shekhar Sharma, the Paytm founder’s brother and complainant in the case, has denied any information about Sonia’s promotion. “I am unaware about the fact that she got promotion. Had only one person been targeted, framing might have made a sense. However, four people from varied backgrounds are involved in the case. So, it can’t be a framing effort,” said Sharma.
Sonia’s family also said that a part of the senior management may have been threatened by her success. “From being a secretary, she had become a vice-president. Maybe someone was jealous of her success or maybe they were threatened. And why did they even transfer partial amount if this was just a blackmailing effort? This is an elaborate conspiracy against them all,” alleged the sister.