Inept probe lets off sailor, armyman | india | Hindustan Times
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Inept probe lets off sailor, armyman

A city court has slammed the police for its shoddy investigation, while acquitting a former Indian Navy sailor and a serving Indian Army clerk accused of passing on official secrets, reports Sumit Saxena.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2009 14:57 IST
Sumit Saxena

A city court has slammed the police for its shoddy investigation, while acquitting a former Indian Navy sailor and a serving Indian Army clerk accused of passing on official secrets.



"It is a matter of great sorrow that the investigative agency did not conduct investigations in a proper manner," said Dinesh Sharma, additional sessions judge.



Former Navy sailor Girja Shankar and Army clerk Sabhajeet Yadav were charged with procuring classified defence documents, and sending them to Pakistani Intelligence officials in Kathmandu, Nepal in May 2000.



The court observed that the investigating officials had fudged Yadav's date of arrest. "Police says that Yadav was arrested on the basis of Shankar's disclosure statement on May 14 and 21, 2000. But during the trial police officials said Yadav was arrested on May 13 before the disclosure statement of Shankar," the judge noted.



The court pointed out that every policeman who gave evidence at the trial had a different story to tell about where Yadav had been arrested.



"The prosecution has miserably failed to prove any conspiracy of the arrested accused, and the arrest of Girja Shankar is also in doubt" the judge observed.



The police had alleged that Shankar was the mastermind in the conspiracy, and he was caught on his way to a courier company with an envelope containing classified defence documents. “Shankar roped in Yadav as he was not financially sound. He prompted Yadav to get the documents and offered him a handsome amount” the police said.



The court noted that police miserably failed to collect evidence to establish Shankar's link with Pakistani Intelligence officials, and even Yadav’s role in procuring the classified documents from Military offices was not clear.



The court upheld the defence argument and referred the prosecution theory of conspiracy as mere display poor investigations into a sensitive case.