'Abhishek Verma sold secret defence documents' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Abhishek Verma sold secret defence documents'

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2012 00:59 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
Abhishek Sharan

Suspected arms dealer Abhishek Verma was recently booked by the CBI under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for alleged spying after the defence ministry confirmed that he circulated eight classified documents since 2008 for commercial interests.

The CBI FIR, whose details are with HT, said the documents were related to acquisition plans of the armed forces.

The papers included the air force's annual acquisition plan, the navy's quality requirements for long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well as some hand-written notes on air force projects and purchase of night vision gadgets for assault rifles, said a CBI source.

"The CBI didn't issue a press release after lodging the case since the matter pertains to OSA," said the source.

The FIR charged Verma and some officials of Ganton Limited - a firm allegedly controlled by him - and the defence ministry with criminal conspiracy and dissemination of classified secrets.

"It's alleged the accused disseminated secret documents related to the armed forces to private parties - suspected to be arms manufacturers - for commercial interests," said CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra.

Verma's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal defended him, saying: "Under the OSA, it must be proved that the accused was in possession of the alleged secrets, but there is no such evidence."