Jailed diplomat opposes framing of charges

Jailed Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta on Friday opposed framing of charges in a Delhi court saying she cannot be prosecuted for the offence under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for allegedly passing on sensitive information.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2011, 20:31 PM IST

New Delhi: Jailed Indian diplomat Madhuri
Gupta on Friday opposed framing of charges in a Delhi court saying
she cannot be prosecuted for the offence under the Official
Secrets Act (OSA) for allegedly passing on sensitive
information pertaining to defence to Pakistan`s ISI.

The alleged act of passing on information relating to
country`s internal security to the ISI "cannot be read as
related to work of defence" under section 3 of the Official
Secrets Act, Joginder Singh Dahiya, counsel for Gupta told
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar.

The penal provision under the OSA provides for maximum 14
years jail term. Gupta, 53, posted as second secretary with
the Press and Information at Indian High Commission in
Islamabad, was arrested on April 22 by the Special Cell of
Delhi police.

Under the OSA, passing information pertaining to the
defence of the country could only be those inputs relating to
`arsenal, naval, military and air force`, Gupta`s lawyer said.

Under Section 3 of the Act, passing information related
to defence carries a maximum jail term of 14 years while those
not amounting to work of defence carries a jail term of three
years, he said.

At best she can be charged with the offence of divulging
information other than defence inputs, he said.

Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan, on the other hand, opposed
her plea and said that the matter of internal security of the
country also came within the purview of "work of defence as
naval, military and air force are used also for internal
security."

The court has now fixed the matter for hearing on
November 11, when police would be pressing for charge under
section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of
the IPC, which carries life term as maximum sentence.

PTI

Tags: