NSCS spying case: RTI reply shows cracks in police theory
Loopholes seem to be emerging in the probe into the 2006 National Security Council secretariat spying case as an RTI reply said there is no record of Delhi Police seeking NSCS' opinion on documents found in computer of an accused, which later became the basis of his arrest.delhi Updated: May 30, 2010 18:08 IST
Loopholes seem to be emerging in the probe into the 2006 National Security Council secretariat spying case as an RTI reply said there is no record of Delhi Police seeking NSCS' opinion on documents found in computer of an accused, which later became the basis of his arrest.
The Delhi Police had claimed that it had sought the views of the Secretariat on two electronic documents recovered from the computer of one of the accused, retired Navy Commander Mukesh Saini.
A director at NSCS, Vinod Kumar Mall, had opined that possession of the said documents was unauthorised and classified which became the basis of Saini's arrest under the Official Secrets Act.
However, in an RTI reply to Saini, the NSCS has said there are no entries in its records of receiving such communication from Delhi Police. It also said that there are no file notings to show how the opinion was formed by Mall who was then director at the Secretariat.
NSCS is the top intelligence coordination body of the country which is headed by the National Security Advisor.
After the alleged spying case came to light in June 2006, the Special Cell had carried out searches in Saini's house in Delhi Cantonment area on June 11, 2006 and claimed to have found some classified documents, computer hard disc and other material.
The two electronic documents recovered by police from the hard disc seized from Saini's residence were related to a project Secure Information Database Information (SIDE) and minutes of meeting of Indo-US cyber security forum which took place in 2003 of which the officer was coordinator.
According to Special Cell, in two letters 2871 and 2872 dated June 30, 2006 - a day before the arrest of Saini - it sought the views of NSCS whether the possession of these documents was authorised.
Mall in his "undated" replies, letter no 1206/Dir(VM)/2006 and 1207/Dir (VM)/2006, to Delhi Police had opined that the documents and its contents are "classified and possession can be termed as unauthorised".
The views of Mall became one of the reasons for slapping charges under OSA against Saini and his arrest.
In an RTI reply to Saini, the NSCS said it has "no entries in NSCS records regarding receipt of letter no 2871 and 2872/ACP/NDR dated June 30, 2006" from Delhi Police.