NEW DELHI: Suspended Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta arrested over 21 months ago allegedly for passing country's sensitive information to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, was today granted bail by a Delhi court.
While enlarging Gupta on bail, Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain, however, restrained her from leaving Delhi without prior permission of the court.
The court also warned her against trying to contact any prosecution witness in the case.
The judge, who had on January 7, charged her with offences entailing three years jail term on conviction, released her on bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and surety of same amount.
The court granted bail on her plea that she has already spent over 21 months in jail while the offences she has been charged with carries a maximum jail term of three years on being held guilty.
She also submitted that the Criminal Procedure Code too provides for leniency in grant of bail to women.
Gupta, 55, was arrested on April 22, 2010 by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
The court had charged Gupta under Section 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act for allegedly supplying country's information to an ISI agent during her Islamabad posting.
She was also charged with the breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and various other provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
Under Section 3 of the Act, passing information relating to defence carries a maximum jail term of 14 years while leaking information, not related to defence, carries a lighter jail term of three years and Gupta has been charged with the latter offence. Her trial is to begin from March 22.
It was alleged that Gupta had revealed certain classified information to Pakistani officials and was in touch with two ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.
According to the charge sheet filed in July 2010, she was involved in a relationship with Jamshed whom she planned to marry and communicated with him using a code name 'Jim'.
The diplomat was using a computer installed at her residence in Islamabad and a Blackberry phone to be in touch with the two Pakistani spies, it said.
Gupta, however, refuted all the allegations levelled against her and submitted that the said information is not sensitive and the alleged act of passing on information relating to country's internal security to the ISI "cannot be read as related to work of defence" under Section 3 of the Act.