3 Get Life Imprisonment In Gujarat For Leaking Secret Info To Pak’s ISI

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A sessions court here in Gujarat on Monday sentenced three men to life imprisonment on charges of spying and leaking confidential information about India’s military bases to Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The court of the additional sessions judge, Ambalal Patel, rejected the prosecution’s appeal for the death sentence, saying the crime committed by the trio doesn’t fall under the “rarest of rare” category.

The court observed the trio got employment in India but their love and patriotism was for Pakistan.

It also said that a “person sitting in India and spying for Pakistan as a citizen of India should voluntarily leave the country or the government should search for them and send them to Pakistan”.

The court convicted Sirajuddin Ali Fakir (24), Mohammad Ayub (23) and Naushad Ali (23) on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against the country under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Official Secrets Act, and the Information Technology Act in the 2012 case.

The trio was handed life imprisonment under sections 121, 121 (A) and 120 (B) of IPC and section 66 (F) of the IT Act, along with 14 years of rigorous imprisonment under section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, and ten years jail under section 123 (Concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of IPC.

All the sentences will run concurrently.

The Ahmedabad city crime branch arrested Fakir and Ayub, both residents of Jamalpur locality, on October 14, 2012, for allegedly passing on confidential information related to Army bases in Ahmedabad and the Gandhinagar Army Cantonment to the ISI.

Another accused and a resident of Jodhpur, Naushad Ali, was picked up on November 2, 2012, on charges of providing information about the Jodhpur Army cantonment and BSF headquarters.

A suspected ISI agent based in Jamnagar was also arrested. However, he was acquitted in February 2013 under section 169 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for want of evidence. He later turned approver in the case.

As per the chargesheet, Fakir, Ayub, and Ali saved messages in drafts to facilitate Pakistani officials accessing them using emails.

The prosecution said that accused Fakir visited Pakistan in 2007 and met one Taimur. Ali met ISI agents in the neighbouring country in 2009.

Police had recovered the map of the Ahmedabad-based Army cantonment from Fakir’s residence.

The court held that despite being Indian citizens, the trio thought about the benefit of Pakistan.

“Actually, a person who is sitting in India and spying for Pakistan as a citizen of India should voluntarily leave the country and go to Pakistan or the government should search for them and send them to Pakistan,” the court observed.

“All the accused are citizens of India and got employment in India. But there is no love or feeling of patriotism towards the country. Instead, they have found love, affection and patriotism for Pakistan, as a result of which they sent secret information about Indian Army movements to the ISI in Pakistan for three consecutive years and got lakhs of rupees from Dubai,” the court said.

The court observed the act of the trio has harmed the integrity and sovereignty of India, and not one but the entire nation is the victim of their act which increases the seriousness of the crime.

“Despite being Indian citizens, they thought about the benefit of Pakistan. They did not think about the security of 140 crores of India but their own interests and the interests of Pakistan,” the order said.

I believe that giving less punishment to those who are indulging in anti-national activities while staying in the country should also be considered as an anti-national activity, the judge noted.

The prosecution had taken prior sanction of the Indian Army about what constitutes classified and secret information. Gujarat and the Central governments had also given the nod for prosecuting the trio. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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