The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has rejected an appeal of a Pakistani spy who was sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and dismissed from service after a trial by Summary General Court Martial (SGCM) for divulging information to a Pakistani intelligence unit.
Ghulam Mustafa Samoon, a resident of Baramulla district, had approached the Jammu and Kashmir high court from where his case was transferred to the AFT.
He told the court that he had lost a live bullet on December 7, 1998, and was under pressure from his superiors to find the same. He added that while searching for it he lost the direction on December 10, 1998, and crossed over to Pakistan where he fell asleep and was apprehended by Pakistani rangers and put in the Sialkot jail.
He was released on October 21, 1999 (few months after the Kargil War) and while waiting for bus in Jammu, he was apprehended by 4 Rajputana Rifles. Samoon was last posted at Border Observation Post, Sidharwan (J&K).
Senior panel counsel Gurpreet Singh, appearing for the central government, told the AFT that as per Samoon's confession, "While in custody of the Pakistani intelligence agencies he agreed to work for them.
He was trained by them, given contact numbers and `5,000 in Indian currency and helped to cross the border during the intervening night of October 20 and 21 in 1999 under firing from their side."
The bench comprising justice Prakash Krishna and Lt Gen NS Brar (retd) observed, "From the facts and circumstances of his return to the Indian territory it is clear that he was not repatriated, which should have been the case had he been held by Pakistanis after inadvertently crossing over to their side. He had, in fact, infiltrated back to the Indian territory."
"In case he had been pressured to work for the Pakistani intelligence agencies it would have been appropriate for him to report to the nearest army unit on returning to Indian territory and explaining the circumstances.
However, he had not voluntarily approached the nearest military unit to report his return and on the contrary on being apprehended by personnel of 4 Rajputana Rifles, he had tried to conceal his identity. The acceptance to work for the enemy is evident," the bench observed.