Sonia Dhawan’s lawyer Satish Kumar has now appealed in the district court, Gautam Buddha nagar for bail for his client in the Paytm extortion case. The application was filed after the Surajpur district court, Greater Noida (UP) special judge rejected the bail application of Dhawan’s husband, Roopak Jain, on November 14.
Speaking to Inc42, advocate Satish Kumar clarified, “The application has been filed on the ground that no extortion amount has been demanded by Sonia Dhawan. Not a single rupee of the said extortion amount of INR 67K and INR 200K has been deposited or transferred to her account.”
He added, “There is no ground that could establish Sonia’s connection with the extortion case. The fourth accused, Rohit Chomal, who has reportedly claimed her involvement, is still absconding.”
Sonia Dhawan’s case, which was initially being handled by advocate Prashant Tripathi, is now with advocate Satish Kumar, Roopak Jain’s lawyer.
After an FIR filed by Noida police on October 22, Paytm vice-president, communications, Sonia Dhawan, her husband Roopak Jain, along with another Paytm employee, Devendra Kumar, were earlier sent on police remand for 14 days by the chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Gautam Buddha Nagar, (Noida). The trio was arrested on October 22 for their alleged involvement in an extortion attempt targeted at Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Since then, there have been several twists and turns in the case. To start with, there were loopholes in the FIR filed on the basis of a complaint by Sharma’s brother Ajay Shekhar Sharma — the extortion amount was written as INR 20 Cr in numeral and INR 10 Cr in words. Manoj Pant, the investigative officer in the case, later confirmed to Inc42 that the actual amount was INR 10 Cr.
The police have so far claimed that the third accused in the case — Devendra Kumar — has conceded the involvement of the trio in the extortion case. The fourth accused, Rohit Chomal, who had supposedly revealed the entire plan (as written in the FIR) is still on the run.
There were also rumours that the advocate, as well as Dhawan and Jain’s family and friends were not being allowed to meet the duo, who are currently being held at Kasna Jail, Greater Noida. However, speaking to Inc42, Kumar clarified, “That’s not the case. They (Sonia Dhawan and Roopak Jain) are not terrorists. As per the rules, anyone can meet Sonia Dhawan and Roopak Jain.”
Maintaining that the bail application was completely based on facts, Kumar also debunked rumours that the bail application was filed on grounds of Dhawan’s failing health.
On November 14, despite Jain having claimed his innocence via a video conference at Surajpur district court, the court rejected his bail plea based on the basis of police claims and documents submitted to the court.
If Dhawan’s bail application gets rejected in the November 23 hearing, her family plans to appeal at the Allahabad High Court.