The Delhi High Court has dismissed an ex-serviceman's appeal against a trial court order sentencing him to five years' rigorous imprisonment for passing secret documents to a Pakistani embassy official in 2007.
Justice S Murlidhar on Friday refused to interfere in the April 7, 2010 order of the trial court that sentenced former Indian Army lance naik Mohd Naseem to five years' jail after holding him guilty of various offences under the Official Secrets Act.
Naseem, a resident of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir, was a lance naik with J&K Light Infantry when Delhi Police's Special Cell sleuths nabbed him June 29, 2007 from Shastri Park Metro station here.
According to the prosecution, Naseem was found in possession of a set of documents which were meant to be supplied to a Pakistan embassy official. The documents were termed as prejudicial to the safety, security and interest of the country.
Dismissing Naseem's appeal, the court held he was found in possession of the set of documents, "which by itself, sufficient to bring home the guilt of the accused for the offences under Sections 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act".
The case had no public witnesses and Naseem moved high court challenging his jail term, saying he was falsely implicated in the case.
On no association of public witnesses in the case, the Delhi Police explained that despite requests, no member of the public was willing to join the investigation.
On the issue of no association of public witnesses in most cases, Justice Murlidhar asked Delhi Police to make "more serious efforts to record the names of the people who refuse to be part of the investigation.
"The court finds that this is a routine explanation offered by the police in most cases and a more serious effort should have been made to record the names of the people who were refusing to be part of the investigation, particularly since the place of arrest was a Metro station and during busy hours," said the court.