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Delhi court holds ex-diplomat guilty of spying for Pakistan's ISI

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Former Madhuri Gupta, who had served at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, was today convicted by a court for passing on sensitive information to Pakistan's

held the former guilty under various provisions of the Secrets (OS) Act for the offences of spying and wrongful communication of information protected under the law.

The court would hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be handed down to tomorrow.

The court noted that the e-mails "passed on by the accused were categorically sensitive information which 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".

Gupta, who was the (Press & Information) at the Indian High Commission, was convicted under Sections 3 and 5 of the which attract a maximum sentence of three years and fine or both.

She was arrested on April 22, 2010, by the special cell of the Police for allegedly passing on sensitive information to Pakistani officials and remaining in touch with two officials, and Jamshed.

While convicting Gupta, the court observed that in one of the e-mails, she had promised to collect information regarding Hydro Electric Power Projects in which could have had a serious repercussion on the security of the country.

"It is seen that accused was unable to give such information but her intention of passing on such information and her going to Jammu after giving false excuse of attending marrige points out her intention of helping the enemy country.

"She had been giving information regarding various postings of officers of defence, MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and HCI (High Commission of India) as well as their family particulars, which could have caused danger to the life and security to said officers and their family," the court noted.

It also noted that various electronic gadgets, including laptops and which has been purchased in her name, contained e-mails sent to various handlers.

The court convicted for the offence under "second part" of sections 3(1)(c) (obtaining, publishing or communicating to any person any secret information which is useful to an enemy) and 3 (wrongful communication of information) of OS Act and section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. These offences contain a maximum punishment of three years of imprisonment.

The court, however, absolved her from the "first part" of Section 3(1)(c) of OS Act that attracts a maximum punishment of 14 years, holding that none of the information divulged by her pertained to any work of defence or to the naval, military or air force or affairs of the

According to the prosecution, had received information that the accused had been maintaining unauthorised contacts with officials and passing on sensitive official information personally as well as through electronic means from her computer at her office and residence.

had denied the incriminating evidence against her and had stated that she was innocent and falsely implicated in this case by the officials of the high commission and the External Affairs Ministry, with whom she had strained or frosty relations, in connivance with the police officials of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 20:30 IST