Diplomat posted in Pakistan spied for ISI, says court
In an espionage case involving an alleged love affair between an Indian diplomat and a Pakistani ISI agent, a Delhi court found the diplomat guilty on Friday of spying with the intention of helping an “enemy country”.
The court convicted Madhuri Gupta, who was posted at the Indian high commission in Islamabad, for passing secret information to Pakistan’s ISI agents.
“She had been giving information regarding various postings of officials of defence, MEA and HCI as well as their family particulars, which would have caused danger to the life and security of officials,” additional sessions judge Sidharth Sharma held.
Gupta, posted as second secretary, press and information eight years ago, was arrested on April 22, 2010, by the Delhi police’s special cell under the Official Secrets Act on charges of revealing classified information to Pakistani officials Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed through journalist Javed Rashid.
The alleged motive behind the passing of information by Gupta was her love for Jamshed. The prosecution relied on an email to prove the motive.
The court, however, acquitted Gupta of the more serious provision of Section 3 (spying) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, which has a maximum punishment of 14 years. The charge was framed in 2016 after the state successfully sought the intervention of the Delhi high court. The prosecution examined 27 witnesses, including senior officials of the MEA, HCI and defence ministry.
Special prosecutor Irfan Ahmed stressed the more serious charge, entailing a 14-year jail term, was attracted in the case as Gupta had passed on “certain information” pertaining to the “work of defence and factory.” Defence counsel Joginder Singh Dahiya contested the prosecution’s case, arguing the information was not related to “any work of defence or affairs of government (sic).” Gupta’s lawyer argued she was neither in possession nor control of any such information and, therefore, should be acquitted of all charges.
The quantum of punishment will be decided on Saturday.