In this post we’ll read about the release by The Punjab and Haryana HC of a Punjab resident
who had allegedly sent secret information related to the Indian Army to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after the state police failed to address the court about the “secret documents” that were allegedly recovered from him at the time of his arrest.
HC GRANTS REGULAR BAIL TO SUSPECTED SPY
- Sukha was arrested in connection with an FIR registered on June 29, 2019, under various sections of the Official Secrets Act and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) under IPC at Faridkot city police station in Punjab.
- He had allegedly sent information about locations of military units, weapons of the Army, and other documents relating to the Army due to which there was a threat to the security of the nation. As per the police, the information was passed to ISI by him through WhatsApp.
- Ramandeep Singh Gill the petitioner’s counsel submitted that as per the FIR, the petitioner was apprehended with secret documents related to the security of the Indian Army. He also stated that vide order dated September 10, 2020, passed by a coordinate bench of this court, the state counsel was directed to address in the reply, the issue as to what were the secret documents recovered from the petitioner’s possession.
- But till date, no such details have been placed on record nor the sanction of the appropriate government under Section 13(3) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 has been obtained/received. It was stated that the petitioner is 60% physically disabled from his right leg and that no other case is pending or registered against the petitioner. Moreover, the petitioner has been in custody since June 2019.
- Objecting to the bail plea, the Punjab government submitted that there are serious allegations against the petitioner that he was in touch with the Pakistani citizens, namely Ali Raza and Javed Malik, and used to supply them the secret information about the Indian Army. The government said that it had sought sanction from the central government on August 28, 2020 and the same is still awaited.
Section 120B of The Indian Penal Code
Punishment of criminal conspiracy. —
(1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, 2[imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.
(2) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.
Due to the lack of alleged secret documents being able to produce despite the constant directions by the coordinate bench make it necessary to release as once should not be affected due to failure to comply with the constant directions of the court by police authority the state government.
The Punjab and Haryana HC after hearing both the parties ordered Sukha’s release on regular bail.
Since the petitioner has been in custody since June 29, 2019 and the trial will take time to conclude due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Moreover, the information as regards the behind the bars,” observed Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill of the High Court as he passed these orders allowing a petition for bail filed by Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sukha, a native of Moga who had been arrested in Faridkot alleged secret documents is not forthcoming and despite specific directions issued by the coordinate bench of this court in this regard, no compliance was done. Thus, no useful purpose would be served by keeping the petitioner.
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