Spy Madhuri Gupta granted bail after 21 months

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 00:41

New Delhi: Suspended Indian diplomat Madhuri
Gupta arrested over 21 months ago allegedly for passing
country`s sensitive information to Pakistan`s intelligence
agency ISI, was on Tuesday granted bail by a Delhi court.

While enlarging Gupta on bail, Additional Sessions Judge
Pawan Kumar Jain, however, restrained her from leaving Delhi
without prior permission of the court.

The court also warned her against trying to contact any
prosecution witness in the case.

The judge, who had on January 7, charged her with
offences entailing three years jail term on conviction,
released her on bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and
surety of same amount.

The court granted bail on her plea that she has already
spent over 21 months in jail while the offences she has been
charged with carries a maximum jail term of three years on
being held guilty.

She also submitted that the Criminal Procedure Code too
provides for leniency in grant of bail to women.

Gupta, 55, was arrested on April 22, 2010 by the Special
Cell of Delhi Police.

She was posted as Second Secretary (Press and
Information) in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The court had charged Gupta under Section 3 and 5 of the
Official Secrets Act for allegedly supplying country`s
information to an ISI agent during her Islamabad posting.

She was also charged with the breach of trust, criminal
conspiracy and various other provisions of the Official
Secrets Act.

Under Section 3 of the Act, passing information relating
to defence carries a maximum jail term of 14 years while
leaking information, not related to defence, carries a lighter
jail term of three years and Gupta has been charged with the
latter offence. Her trial is to begin from March 22.

It was alleged that Gupta had revealed certain classified
information to Pakistani officials and was in touch with two
ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.

According to the charge sheet filed in July 2010, she was
involved in a relationship with Jamshed whom she planned to
marry and communicated with him using a code name `Jim`.

The diplomat was using a computer installed at her
residence in Islamabad and a Blackberry phone to be in touch
with the two Pakistani spies, it said.

Gupta, however, refuted all the allegations levelled
against her and submitted that the said information is not
sensitive and 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
Act.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 18:01

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