Madhuri Gupta case: Witnesses fail to turn up



New Delhi: The trial in the espionage case involving suspended Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta could not take place on Friday as the prosecution witness failed to turn up before the court.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain was to begin recording the witnesses' statements against Gupta, who has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly supplying classified information to an ISI agent during her posting in Islamabad.

After the prosecution witnesses failed to turn up, the court issued summons to other fresh witnesses and posted the matter for next hearing on June 6-7, 2012.

Gupta, 55, who was posted as Second Secretary (Press and Information) in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, was arrested on April 22, 2010, by the Special Cell of Delhi Police and charged with leaking India's classified and defence-related information to ISI.

On January 7, she was charged under Section 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act for lighter offences entailing maximum three year jail term, for allegedly supplying the country's information (not related to defence) to an ISI agent during her Islamabad posting.

While framing the charges, the court held the information leaked by Gupta did not fall under the category of work of defence, as opposed to the prosecution's case. Gupta 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 jail term of three years.

Gupta was granted bail on January 10 after having spent over 21 months in jail.

It was alleged Gupta was trapped into revealing certain classified information to Pakistani officials and was in touch with two ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.

According to the chargesheet 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'.

PTI