The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a primary school teacher accused of collecting information regarding deployment of Indian Army and Border Security Force (BSF) and passing it to persons across border.

The Court while granting bail noted that no incriminating material was recovered from the possession of the applicant-accused so far and that the accused was in judicial custody for more than 07 years, which fulfilled the basic requirement of Section 436A of the CrPC, inasmuch as he has already undergone half the sentence provided for the offence he is charged with.

Thus, Justice Amit Sharma held “As per the nominal roll dated 03.02.2023, the applicant has been in judicial custody for 07 years, 01 months and 24 days. This Court is of the considered opinion that the case of the applicant is covered by the provision of Section 436A of the CrPC and therefore, the present application stands allowed.”

As per the prosecution case, secret information was received at Crime Branch regarding alleged anti-national activities supported by Pakistan based intelligence operatives. The said operative had an Indian handler, who collected information regarding deployment of Indian Army and Border Security Force (BSF) in Jammu & Kashmir and passed the same to persons across the border, thereby endangering national security.

The mobile numbers involved were intercepted and based on important intercepts, names of two persons surfaced. During interrogation, these two persons disclosed the name of the present applicant-accused as the mastermind and a cyber expert working as a teacher in District Rajouri following which he came to be arrested.

Advocate Mohit Chaudhary appeared for the accused whereas APP Aman Usman appeared for the State.

The Court observed that the applicant-accused has been chargesheeted for offences punishable under Sections 3 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act. The maximum punishment provided under Section 3(1) of the Official Secrets Act is 14 years. The applicant was arrested in the present case in 2015 and has been in judicial custody for more than 7 years.

The Court further observed that apart from an assertion made in the status report with regard to the likelihood of the applicant affecting the security of the country and the chance of his absconding, no material was placed on record to substantiate the aforesaid apprehension.

Thus the Court granted bail to the accused while directing him to report at the office of Superintendent of Police, Rajouri twice in a week. The Court further directed him to drop a pin on the Google map to ensure that his location is available to the Investigating Officer.

Cause Title- Mohammad Saber v. State Of Nct Of Delhi (Neutral Citation Number: 2023:DHC:277)

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