-Report by Sakshi Tanwar
This is the second application under Section 439 read with Section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking regular bail in case FIR No. 166/2015, dated 16.11.2015, recorded at P.S. Crime Branch under Sections 3 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923. The initial application filed on behalf of the current applicant was rejected as withdrawn by a coordinate bench of this Court on February 31, 2018, with an instruction to the learned trial Court to expedite the trial.
P.S. Crime Branch obtained classified information on alleged anti-national acts supported by Pakistan-based intelligence operatives. The operation in question was handled by an Indian. Information about the deployment of the Indian Army and the Border Security Force (“BSF”) in Jammu and Kashmir and passed it on to people across the border, threatening national security. The mobile phone numbers involved were intercepted, and the names of two people engaged – Kafaitullah Khan and Abdul Rasheed surfaced. Kafaitullah Khan lived in Rajouri and Abdul Rasheed served in the BSF. It was found that Abdul Rasheed gave classified material to Kafaitullah Khan in exchange for money, who then gave it to Pakistan intelligence operatives.
Kafaitullah Khan came across his close friend Mohammad Saber, i.e., the present applicant, who was a primary school teacher. In confidence, Kafaitullah Khan told the applicant about his meeting with the aforesaid Pakistan intelligence officer and the task assigned to him. He agreed to the task by taking some money. Kafaitullah Khan got in touch with an ex-serviceman, Munawar, through the present applicant. Farid Khan had passed on some documents to Munawar, which were then passed on to Faizal-ur-Rehman through the present applicant. Mobile phones were recovered from Kafaitullah Khan, Abdul Rasheed, Munawar Ahmed Mir, Farid Khan and the present applicant. The Call Detail Records showed that the accused were in touch. Bank account details of all the accused persons were obtained from the concerned banksand it was found that Rs. 10,000/- were deposited in the account of the applicant.
The found documents pertaining to the Indian Army were forwarded to the appropriate authorities for examination. It was discovered that the aforementioned documents were classified in nature. Following the completion of the investigation, the first chargesheet in the current case against Abdul Rasheed Khan, Munawar Ahmed Mir, Farid Ahmed, Kafaitullah Khan, and the present application was filed on February 23, 2016.
The applicant, according to learned counsel acting on his behalf, was detained on December 5, 2015, and has been in judicial detention for more than 7 years. It was also claimed that he had been imprisoned for more than half the maximum time permitted for the crimes he was accused of committing. As a result, the petitioner is eligible to be released on bail under Section 436A of the CrPC. It was further submitted that the applicant was not named in the FIR and the allegations against him are solely on the basis of the disclosure of Kafaitullah Khan and Abdul Rasheed. Learned counsel for the application testified that no incriminating material had been obtained from the applicant’s possession or from his domicile. Furthermore, no incriminating evidence was discovered on his laptop or camera. It was submitted that the prosecution has not been able to connect the Rs. 10,000/- transferred to the bank account of the applicant with any of the allegations made against him. Learned counsel further submitted that there is no evidence on record which shows that the data alleged to be transmitted was passed on by the applicant.
In view of the facts and circumstances of the present case, the applicant is admitted to bail upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- along with two sureties of the like amount, one of which should be a relative of the applicant, to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court/Link Court, further subject to some conditions.
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