The judicial custody of Sonia Dhawan and her husband Rupak Jain, accused of blackmailing and allegedly trying to extort money from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar, has been extended by 14 days by the Gautam Budh Nagar district court. Last week, the court had rejected Jain’s bail plea. Sonia, meanwhile, has moved a bail application in the district court.
Jain, his wife and key accused Sonia, and a third accused Devendra Kumar had been sent to judicial custody by a magistrate on October 24 for allegedly blackmailing Shekhar with confidential information to extort Rs 10 crore. Sonia is currently vice-president, corporations/PR at Paytm.
According to the legal team representing Sonia, their case will be based on “loopholes” with regard to the fourth accused, Rohit Chomal, who is on the run. “He has not been caught yet; he is the key to the entire controversy. He was the one who made the alleged calls and allegedly received the money. Where do Sonia and Rupak feature in this?” said advocate Satish Kumar.
According to the FIR filed by Ajay Shekhar, Vijay Shekhar’s brother, Chomal had made WhatsApp calls at the behest of Sonia and her husband. It is alleged that they threatened to leak Vijay’s stolen personal data and confidential information about the company.
The lawyer suggested Chomal could be a figment of imagination. “Nothing can be said for a fact till the investigation is complete… Chomal could be a bogus figure floated to frame Sonia and Rupak,” claimed Kumar. “Our strategy was to get Rupak out first. But given his bail rejection, the time has come to get Sonia out as well. I am awaiting certain documents over the next two days which will help Sonia’s bail plea.”
SP (Gautam Buddha Nagar) Ajay Pal Sharma said, “We are working to arrest the fourth accused, which will bring more clarity to Sonia’s and Rupak’s role in the alleged crime. We are in the process of filing the chargesheet.”