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Samba spy scandal: HC seeks Centre's reply on plea to de-classify documents

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Friday sought the Centre's response on a plea by two former Army officers, caught for allegedly spying for in the infamous scandal which broke out in 1975, to de-classify all documents related to the case.

Justice asked the and of Army Staff to file their replies to the petition and listed the matter for further hearing on September 3.

and Ranbir Singh Rathaur, formerly captains, said in the petition that their fundamental rights were violated by branding them as Pakistani spies/ agents and not disclosing the essential documents pertaining to the 'Samba Spy' incident to them.

They sought direction to the authorities to de-classify all the official documents pertaining to 'Samba Spy' scandal and put the same in public domain as more than 40 years have elapsed and all court cases have ended and no claim of national security can now be raised.

"In all the democracies around the world including of America and several European countries, all the classified documents have a fixed duration of classification and are mandatorily required to be declassified after a passage of a specified time or a specified event," said the petition, filed through Pranav Sachdeva.

It said the petitioners have tried all the legal recourse available to them to prove their innocence but to no avail as the entire basis of the charges and subsequent court martial proceedings against them were never properly and fully disclosed either to them or to the court.

"The entire case history, starting from Court Martial proceedings and thereafter to this court till the Supreme Court, gives a glimpse of the kind of camouflage that was intended to be created by the respondents herein in order to shroud the real occurrences which if revealed would have left the establishment red-faced and indictable," the plea said.

The scandal dates back to 1975 when the two army jawans and posted in a unit of 168 in Samba were arrested on a tip-off from the for spying.

The two admitted to their involvement but did not name anyone when interrogated in Jammu. They later implicated some personnel from their own 253 as well as the

Singh, Rathaur and Capt S R Nagial were charged with having travelled to Sialkot in on several occasions and passing secret information to an of the of Army.

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

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 20:25 IST
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