18 July 2022 11:27 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the bail petition filed by a 24-year-old, accused of sharing photographs of important places like Naval Base Army area with Pakistan ISI. A single judge bench of Justice K Natrajan while dismissing the plea filed by Jeetendar Singh said,"The possibility of Pakistan may target India by using missiles over those places are not ruled out....
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the bail petition filed by a 24-year-old, accused of sharing photographs of important places like Naval Base Army area with Pakistan ISI.
A single judge bench of Justice K Natrajan while dismissing the plea filed by Jeetendar Singh said,
"The possibility of Pakistan may target India by using missiles over those places are not ruled out. The information given by the petitioner/accused is dangerous to the safety and security of the nation."
Singh has been in custody for over seven months after being arrested on September 19, 2021 and charged under under Sections 120(B) and 201 of IPC and Sections 3, 6, 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
The Anti Terrorism Squad which investigated the matter had filed a chargesheet against the accused. The sessions court had rejected his bail application, following which he approached the High Court.
It is alleged that the petitioner projected himself as an Army man and in conspiracy with two Pakistani nationals, provided information to Pakistan ISI through Whatsapp and other social media.
The petitioner contended that he is innocent and has been falsely implicated. He claimed to have come in contact with a lady through social media and started chatting with her. In order to get her love and affection, the petitioner wore the Indian Military uniform and used to chat with Pooja who is from Pakistan. Except for using uniform and sharing some photographs, there is no incriminating material against the petitioner to show he has sent any information to the Pakistani.
Further it was said the investigation is completed and a chargesheet is filed. The punishment for the alleged offences is a maximum three years imprisonment. Moreover, as per Section 13 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, the police have no authority to file a complaint and there is a bar for taking cognizance.
Prosecution opposed the plea saying that the accused defrauding himself as an Army man, sent official secrets of India including the Army, Naval and Air force. He has sent various photographs to accused Nos.2 and 3 who are from Pakistan. The police traced the documents and the messages which clearly reveal that he has sent various secret information to a Pakistani.
It was also contended that there were two cell phones used by the petitioner/accused, out of which, one cell phone was recovered by the police and another cell phone was already destroyed by the petitioner and they were unable to retrieve the information sent by the petitioner. The offence is a very serious one. The petitioner not only gave information about Army details, base camps, pokran etc. to the lady who is an ISI agent of Pakistan. If the petitioner is released on bail, he may commit a similar offence or abscond from the case is not ruled out.
The bench went through the records and said,
It is clear that the petitioner was sharing information with Pakistani Intelligence Operating from Bengaluru, which reveals that there prima facie material to show that this petitioner was supplying the information to Pakistani Intelligence Operator. Therefore, it cannot be said that the petitioner was just playing or chatting with a Pakistani woman as he has sent various official secrets like Military, Naval base and other important places."
Further it said, "Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 prescribes that punishment may be extended to 14 years imprisonment and in other cases to three years. The provisions of Section 3(c) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 is attracted against this petitioner as he has collected and communicated the information to a Pakistani which is likely to affect sovereignty and integrity of India."
It added, "As per Section 13(3) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, no Court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act unless upon complaint made by order of, or under authority from, the. Appropriate Government or some officer empowered by the Appropriate Government on this behalf."
On going through the complaint forwarded by the officer commanding Southern command the court said, "On the technical ground, the petitioner cannot be granted bail in a serious case where he has sent the important information to the intelligence of Pakistan."
Then the court went on to say that, "If the bail is granted to the petitioner, there is every possibility of petitioner absconding from the case and delaying the process are not ruled out. Even otherwise, there will be a threat to the life of the petitioner, if he comes out of the jail. Therefore, in order to safeguard the interest of the petitioner as well as the safety and security of the nation, it is not a fit case for granting bail to the petitioner/accused."
Case Title: Jeetendar Singh v. State of Karnataka
Case No: Criminal Petition No. 1691/2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 269
Date of Order: July 14, 2022
Appearance: Advocate Gopal Singh for petitioner; HCGP Rashmi Jadhav for respondent
Click Here To Read/Download Order