Ex-diplomat convicted of passing information to ISI

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Ex-diplomat convicted of passing information to ISI
Ex-diplomat convicted of passing information to ISI

New Delhi: A court here on Friday convicted former Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta in a case related to passing on sensitive information to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma held Gupta guilty under sections of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“The conduct of the accused in passing on sensitive/secret information in the light of documents proved on record and evidence led by the prosecution categorically proves the charge under second part of Section 3(1) (c) of the OSA, punishable upto a period of three years, as well as under Section 5 of the OSA read with 120-B IPC,” the court said.

However the court acquitted her of the stringent section 3(1) (Part-I) of the Official Secrets Act which attracts a maximum punishment of 14 years.

The court observed that Gupta’s action could have been useful to the enemy country “which were strategically very important for the foreign policy of the country and its secrecy was of utmost important”.

“In one of the e-mails, the accused is also promising collecting information regarding Hydro Electric Power Projects in Jammu and Kashmir which could have proved useful to the enemy country during war and destruction… could have proved serious crisis to the country,” the court said.

The accused was unable to give such information but her intention of passing on such information and her going to Jammu on a false excuse of attending a wedding points to her intention of helping the enemy country, the court noted.

“She (Gupta) had been giving information regarding various postings of officers of defence, Ministry of External Affairs and High Commission of India as well as their family particulars which could have caused danger to the life and security of said officers and their family,” the court said in its order.

The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Saturday.

Gupta revealed certain classified information to Pakistani officials and was in touch with two ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.

As per the chargesheet filed in July 2010, Gupta was in a relationship with Jamshed, whom she planned to marry.

The chargesheet said she used a computer installed at her residence in Islamabad and a Blackberry phone to stay in touch with the two Pakistani spies.

The former diplomat claims she is innocent.

Once a second secretary at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Gupta was arrested on April 27, 2010 for spying and on charges of passing on information to the Pakistani intelligence agency.

On January 7, 2012, the trial court charged Gupta with spying under the Official Secrets Act. She was granted bail on January 10, 2012.

Police challenged the order and sought modification of the charges.

The Delhi High Court allowed the plea in February 2016 and directed to frame a charge against Gupta under the section having a maximum punishment of 14 years.