The Delhi High Court has disapproved of comments by Uttar Pradesh Governor TV Rajeswar and former IB Deputy Director VK Kaul in defence of two senior Army officials involved in the 1975 Samba spy case.
A bench headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen, which dismissed the petitions of two former Captains — RS Rathaur and AK Rana — seeking annulment of court martial proceedings that led to their imprisonment for 14 years, said there was no room for taking cognizance of their views.
Rajeswar, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, and Kaul had said there was something wrong in the case and that the entire spy theory was doubtful, unsubstantiated and unreliable.
Last year, the two Captains had cited the articles by Rajeswar, and Kaul as “fresh evidence”. The duo wanted to get the blot removed so that they could get post-retirement benefits.
Between August 1978 and January 1979, 50-odd people in the 168 Infantry Brigade and its subordinate units at Samba, 40 km from Jammu, were arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan at the instance of the Directorate of Military Intelligence. Those arrested included a Brigadier, three Lieutenant Colonels and a number of Majors and Captains.
In his article, Rajeswar had said: “The Director, Military Intelligence, who was handling the investigation, was reluctant to let the Intelligence Bureau participate in the interrogation of the suspects even though there were clear standing instructions that the IB should be associated in the interrogation of the Army suspects in espionage case.”
The court said: “If he (Rajeswar) was unsuccessful in securing the innocence of the petitioners while adorning that powerful and influential office, there is no room to take cognizance of his opinion after the case has been scrutinised. Mr. Kaul was the chief investigator of the Samba case, and if... he was unable to establish the innocence of the petitioners at that stage, subsequent remarks made cannot be given any credence.”