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Court rejects bail plea of man accused of espionage, says material shared with Pak-based handlers prejudicial to safety of state

The man named Harpal Singh, a combined harvest machine operator from Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, was arrested by the Delhi Police in April while in Delhi.

Published: 11th November 2021 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2021 10:16 AM   |  A+A-

Handcuffs, Arrest

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Rejecting the bail plea of an Official Secrets Act (OSA) accused, a court here said that the material the accused shared with his Pakistan-based handlers was prejudicial to the safety and interests of the State.

The court cited the findings of the military intelligence unit to conclude that the documents allegedly sent by Harpal were indeed confidential and mentioned a previous judgment that had defined "secret" in the context of the OSA.

“The word ‘secret’ qualifies official code or password and not any sketch, plan, model, article or note, document or information and when the accused was found in conscious possession of the material and no plausible explanation has been given for its possession, it has to be presumed that the same was obtained or collected by the appellant for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interests of the State,” said the court while passing the order.

The man named Harpal Singh, a combined harvest machine operator from Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, was arrested by the Delhi Police in April while on a visit to Delhi.

“Military Intelligence Report has been filed in the instant matter, as per which, the documents allegedly recovered from the accused are reported to be ‘classified documents’. Allegations against the accused are serious in nature,” the court order stated.

According to Tejpartap Singh, the counsel of the accused, the man was involved in farming activity. He has relatives in Pakistan with whom he was in touch with.

The Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, also added that Harpal was receiving money from his handlers through Hawala for funding the espionage operation.

The charge sheet says the man sent several videos and information across the border and received handsome remuneration for the same. Incriminating documents containing confidential details related to the Indian Army, the Border Security Force and vital installations, mobile phones and sim cards used by him to contact his Pakistani handlers have been recovered from the man.

The public prosecutor, while arguing for dismissal of bail, argued that the accused was indulged in the procurement of secret information and conveyed the same through different digital channels to a Pakistan-based handler.



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