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Leaked information about submarines: former naval officers freed on bail; court declares IWC indictment incomplete | Latest India News


The CBI had to do nothing after a special court granted bail to retired naval officers Randeep Singh and SJ Singh and others in a case of alleged leakage of confidential information about Submarine projects for pecuniary purposes, calling the agency’s charge sheets “incomplete” as the documents do not mention anything about an investigation under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), said responsible.

The court also granted bail to TP Sastry, executive director of Allen Reinforced Plastics Limited, a Hyderabad-based company, they said.

Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj granted default bail to the retired officers – Commodore Randeep Singh and Commander SJ Singh – who were arrested on September 2, and Sastry, who was arrested on September 8, on a personal bond of ??one lakh each and other conditions.

An accused becomes eligible for a default bond if the investigative agency does not file the indictment within a stipulated time of 60 days or 90 days, depending on the charges.

The judge said that although the agency filed its indictments within 60 days on November 2, the documents are “incomplete” because they do not mention anything about the investigation under the OSA, making the accused eligible for bail.

“The indictment filed in court is incomplete as there is no mention of the investigation under the Official Secrets Act, although the same was done in this case. herself. The indictment is therefore incomplete for the purposes of Article 167 (2) of the CrPC (on bail by default) “, she said.

The agency first made mention of the OSA’s ongoing investigation in responding to the defendants’ bail requests, which were dismissed on November 10 as there was “no clarity regarding the status of the case under the Official Secrets Act, the calculation of the time limit for offenses discovered later in the investigation, etc. “, Noted the judge.

“It was stated in the CBI’s response that the investigation was being conducted under the Official Secrets Act, the Ministry of Defense was invited to file a formal complaint in accordance with the law and the act of additional charge would follow, ”the judge noted.

Defense attorneys cited a Delhi High Court ruling stating that since there is no stipulated minimum sentence under the OSA, indictments must be filed within 60 days to deny surety by default to the accused.

The judge pointed out that the CBI had resumed the investigation of Article 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and that more articles were added as the investigation progressed.

“At no time did the CBI notify the court that an investigation under the Official Secrets Act had also been opened,” she said.

The judge noted that the investigating officer informed, when questioned, that the Navy in response to a CBI reference had told the agency that the documents retrieved were confidential in nature.

The Navy’s response was received on October 14 and 19, she said.

The judge said the agency filed two indictments on November 2, but there was no mention of the agency’s OSA investigation.

It was only in response to the accused’s bail requests that the CBI said that in order to initiate an investigation under Articles 3 and 5 of the OSA, a complaint from the Ministry of Defense was required to which the agency had sent a proposal to the ministry. , she said.

Citing Supreme and High Court rulings, the judge said it was “incumbent on the CBI” to have filed his indictments within 60 days, noting that his investigation was completed and that the reference had been made to the relevant department for filing a complaint under the relevant sections.

The court said that although it is considered for reasons of argument that the CBI forwarded the formal complaint request and that the ball was in the ministry’s court – although the prosecutor’s argument is that the investigation is also ongoing – the IWC part was not finished as it was supposed to file a report alongside said complaint with all the evidence gathered by it.

The CBI raided retired naval officers Commodore Randeep Singh and Commander Satwinder Jeet Singh on September 2 after learning the latter would share crucial details related to a Navy meeting on procurement . Both were arrested on the same day.

The agency is investigating allegations of leaked confidential information relating to the purchase and maintenance of naval equipment for pecuniary benefit and bribery as part of a mine-laying saddle deal from Allen Reinforced Plastics Limited.

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