Delhi Court convicts ex-diplomat Madhuri Gupta for passing on information to Pakistan
Delhi court convicts former diplomat Madhuri Gupta, who was posted at Indian High Commission in Islamabad, for compromising national secrets and spying.india Updated: May 18, 2018 20:29 IST
Former diplomat Madhuri Gupta, who had served at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, on Friday convicted by a Delhi court for passing on sensitive information to Pakistan’s ISI and compromising national interest.
Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma held the former diplomat guilty under various provisions of the Official Secrets (OS) Act for the offences of spying and wrongful communication of information protected under the law.
The court would hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be handed down to Gupta tomorrow.
The court noted that the e-mails “passed on by the accused were categorically sensitive information which could have been useful to the enemy country which were strategically very important for the foreign policy of the country and its secrecy was of utmost important”.
Gupta, who was the Second Secretary (Press & Information) at the Indian High Commission, was convicted under Sections 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act which attract a maximum sentence of three years and fine or both.
She was arrested on April 22, 2010, by the special cell of the Delhi Police for allegedly passing on sensitive information to Pakistani officials and remaining in touch with two ISI officials, Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed.
While convicting Gupta, the court observed that in one of the e-mails, she had promised to collect information regarding Hydro Electric Power Projects in Jammu and Kashmir which could have had a serious repercussion on the security of the country.
“It is seen that accused was unable to give such information but her intention of passing on such information and her going to Jammu after giving false excuse of attending marrige points out her intention of helping the enemy country.
“She had been giving information regarding various postings of officers of defence, MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and HCI (High Commission of India) as well as their family particulars, which could have caused danger to the life and security to said officers and their family,” the court noted.
It also noted that various electronic gadgets, including laptops and Blackberry mobile phones which has been purchased in her name, contained e-mails sent to various ISI handlers.
The court convicted Gupta for the offence under “second part” of sections 3(1)(c) (obtaining, publishing or communicating to any person any secret official information which is useful to an enemy) and 3 (wrongful communication of information) of OS Act and section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. These offences contain a maximum punishment of three years of imprisonment.
The court, however, absolved her from the “first part” of Section 3(1)(c) of OS Act that attracts a maximum punishment of 14 years, holding that none of the information divulged by her pertained to any work of defence or to the naval, military or air force or affairs of the government.
According to the prosecution, Ministry of External Affairs had received information that the accused had been maintaining unauthorised contacts with Pakistani intelligence officials and passing on sensitive official information personally as well as through electronic means from her computer at her office and residence.
Gupta had denied the incriminating evidence against her and had stated that she was innocent and falsely implicated in this case by the officials of the high commission and the External Affairs Ministry, with whom she had strained or frosty relations, in connivance with the police officials of Delhi.
First Published: May 18, 2018 18:52 IST