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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 1:44 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2018, 1:44 AM (IST)

Retd Capt gets 7-yr jail for Navy war room leak

17 documents seized

  • Case involves leakage of over 7,000 pages of sensitive defence information from naval war room and the Air Headquarters
  • The CBI said 17 official documents relating to various issues were seized from the convict’s possession
  • Nine of these were secret, four restricted and one confidential, the agency had said in its chargesheet

New Delhi, July 11

A Delhi court today awarded seven-year rigorous imprisonment to retired Captain Salam Singh Rathore in an offshoot of the 2006 Navy war room leak case, saying he did not deserve leniency as he had committed an offence against national security.

Special CBI Judge SK Aggarwal handed down the jail term to Rathore for the offence of spying under the Official Secrets Act, saying the documents found in his possession belonged to the Defence Ministry and were “directly or indirectly useful to the enemy in one way or the other”. The other accused in the case, Commander (Retd) Jarnail Singh Kalra, was acquitted. While awarding the sentence, the court considered the submission of the prosecutor that several secret documents were recovered from Rathore’s possession, which he could not account for.

“The offence was against national security. The documents found pertain to defence department and are... directly or indirectly useful to an enemy. The convict does not deserve lenient punishment. Being a defence personnel, his job was to even keep his life at stake for the unity, integrity and security of India, but he has acted otherwise,” the judge said.

The judge said sentencing of the convict should act as a deterrent so that no one committed such an offence.

“This court feels appropriate sentencing of the convict should be such that it leaves a deterrent effect so that the offence which threatens the very security of India may not be committed by anyone in India,” the judge said.

The agency, while seeking the maximum punishment of 14 years for Rathore, had argued that he had committed offence against national security and deserved no leniency. The accused, who are facing trial in the main case for the offence of criminal conspiracy under IPC and under provisions of Official Secrets Act, are former naval Lieutenant Kulbhushan Parashar, ex-Commander Vijender Rana, sacked naval Commander VK Jha, former IAF Wing Commander Sambha Jee L Surve and Delhi-based arms dealer Abhishek Verma. — PTI

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