In the latest update to the Paytm extortion case, the Allahabad High Court has now granted bail to Roopak Jain, one of the accused in the case. Roopak Jain is the husband of former Paytm vice president (communications) Sonia Dhawan who is the prime accused in the case.
On October 22, 2018, Ajay Shekhar Sharma, senior vice president-Paytm had lodged a complaint against four people — Sonia Dhawan, her husband Roopak Jain, another Paytm admin staff Devendra Kumar and his friend Rohit Chomal — accusing that the four allegedly stole personal data of his brother and Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma and demanded an extortion amount of INR 10 Cr.
Following the complaint, the Noida police of Sector 20 had filed an FIR and arrested all of the accused barring Rohit Chomal within 24 hours of the complaint.
Confirming the news about Jain’s bail, his lawyer Satish Kumar told Inc42, “The bail was granted on January 31, however, they have not received a copy of the order yet.” Meanwhile, Dhawan’s bail plea will be heard on February 13 at Surjapur District and Session Court, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Kumar said.
The Noida Police also has not received the copy of the order yet.
Earlier in November, the Surajpur District and Sessions Court had rejected the bail application of Roopak Jain.
The fourth accused, Rohit Chomal has succeeded in getting Allahabad High Court protection against his arrest until the police find credible evidence against him.
The case has gotten murkier, as the accused made completely different claim pertaining to the case.
While the previous lawyer of Sonia Dhawan Prashant Tripathi claimed the duo Dhawan and Jain too, have received similar extortion calls, and said it is the Sharma brothers who have masterminded the plan to fabricate Dhawan and her family.
Earlier, speaking to Inc42, the police, however, claimed that Devendra Kumar — one of the accused — has already accepted the crime and has narrated the entire case of how Dhawan master-planned the extortion.
Interestingly, Manoj Pant, the Station House Officer (SHO), Sector 20, Noida — the lead investing officer in this case — is now behind the bars. Pant was caught red-handed last week, accepting a bribe of INR 8 Lakh from an accused and promising him to remove his name from the FIR.
On the case, Kumar had earlier told Inc42, “The bail 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 or her husband’s connection with the extortion case. The fourth accused, Rohit Chomal, who has reportedly claimed her involvement, is still absconding.”
The police have already recovered the data that Devendra Kumar obtained from Dhawan, allegedly with the knowledge of her husband, confirming there was “criminal data-theft of a severe nature.