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Retd Captain gets 7 yrs rigorous jail in 2006 Navy War Room leak case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A court today awarded seven-year rigorous imprisonment to retired in an offshoot of the 2006 Navy War Room leak case, saying he did not deserve leniency as he has committed an offence against national security.

S K Aggarwal handed down the jail term to Rathore for the offence of spying under the Secrets Act, saying the documents found in his possession belonged to and were "directly or indirectly useful to the enemy in one way or the other".

The other accused in the case - (Retd) Jarnail Singh Kalra- was acquitted by the court.

While awarding the sentence to Rathore, the court considered the submission of the that several secret documents were recovered from the possession of Rathore which he could not account for.

"Here in this case, the offence committed by the convict was not only an offence against the society, but it was an offence against the very national security. The documents found in possession of the convict pertains to the defence department of and are ... directly or indirectly useful to an enemy in one way or the other.

"The convict does not deserve lenient punishment as he has played with the security of his own nation. Being a defence personnel, his primary job was to even keep his life at stake for the unity, integrity and security of India, but he has acted otherwise," the said.

The also said that sentencing of the convict should act as a deterrent so that no one commits such an offence.

"This court feels that the appropriate sentencing of the convict in this case should be such that it should leave a deterrent effect so that the offence which threatens the very security of may not be committed by anyone in India," the judge said.

The CBI, in its separate charge sheet filed in the case, had alleged that it had recovered 17 documents from Rathore's possession relating to various issues. Nine of these documents were secret, four restricted and one confidential, it alleged.

The agency, while seeking the maximum punishment of 14 years for Rathore, had argued that he had committed offence against national security and deserved no leniency.

However, the convict sought leniency from the court, contending that he has already spent three years behind bars and has been facing trial for 13 years.

His said Rathore was a 63-year-old senior citizen who has rendered 28 years of unblemished service in defence.

He also submitted that Rathore had participated in anti-smuggling activities during his posting, for which he was appreciated by and the central government.

The 2006 Navy War Room leak case involved leakage of over 7,000 pages of sensitive defence information from the Naval War Room and the Air Headquarters, having a direct bearing on national security.

The accused, who are facing trial in the main case for the offence of criminal conspiracy under IPC and under provisions of Secrets Act, are former naval Kulbhushan Parashar, former Vijender Rana, sacked naval V K Jha, former IAF Wing Commander L Surve and Delhi-based All the accused are out on bail.

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

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 15:45 IST