New Delhi: An Army jawan belonging to the controversial intelligence unit set up by Gen VK Singh has approached a military court for bail contending he has been under "illegal" arrest for the last 16 months on basis of "false" charges of trying to sell classified information.
Admitting the plea filed by Havildar Sham Das D, the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has asked the Army to file a reply in the matter.
Contending that his arrest from June 8 last year was "most wrongful and arbitrary" on basis of false allegations levelled against him by officials of Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the Havildar claimed he is being "implicated" in the charge of sharing classified information with some unknown person who was source of the DRI.
The jawan has been facing a Court of Inquiry (CoI) since June 11 last year on charges of trying to sell classified information in a CD and a pen drive to some unknown person.
In his plea filed through his counsel Maj SS Pandey, the jawan claimed that he was put under close arrest with "sole aim of putting him under undue pressure to confess to such allegation which were totally wrong and also to implicate others in the process."
He claimed that during the CoI, it has come out that the CD was manipulated.
"The DRI Official Assistant Director Rahul R who came to depose in the CoI not only refused to divulge the name of the source whom he had allegedly handed over the said CD, but abruptly left the CoI without signing his statement probably due to lack of any justification about the discrepancy in the CDs for which he had no answer and role of DRI officials was about to get exposed," he claimed.
The former TSD operative urged the court to quash the Army order to put him under arrest and to grant him bail.
The petitioner said he has not been allowed to meet even his family members including his wife for the last 16 months even after the CoI was completed on October 14.
The jawan is "a victim of circumstances and there are enough material on record to show that he has been wrongly implicated by the DRI officials..."
The TSD, which was set up during the tenure of Army Chief Gen VK Singh, has been in controversy over the alleged use of off-the-air-interceptors to illegally monitor conversations of the top defence brass during the height of the age row.
The unit was made defunct soon after the taking over of the present Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh and a Board of Officers was set up by him to look into its functioning.
The unit has also been accused by an Army report of making attempts to destabilise the Jammu and Kashmir government and carrying out unauthorised operations in and outside India.