The Karnataka High Court last week denied bail to a man who, under the disguise of an Indian Army soldier, took several photographs of a naval base and allegedly shared them with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The accused, Jeetendar Singh, had approached the court seeking bail in the case. The Cottonpet police in Bengaluru registered a case under 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under Sections 3 (penalties for spying), 6 (unauthorised use of uniforms, falsification of reports, forgery, personation, and false documents) and 9 (attempts, incitements, etc) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Jeetendar, a resident of Cottonpet, was arrested on November 19, 2021 and remanded in judicial custody.
Justice K Natarajan, who heard the bail plea in this order, said, “The possibility of Pakistan targeting India by using missiles over those places is not ruled out. The information given by the petitioner/accused is dangerous to the safety and security of the nation.”
He also said, “That apart, Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 prescribes that punishment may be extended to 14 years’ imprisonment and in other cases to three years. The provisions of Section 3(c) of the Act were invoked against this petitioner as he has collected and communicated the information to Pakistan, which is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
The judge further said, “As per the instructions issued by the Southern Command, the officer commanding sent information to the police commissioner, Bengaluru city, about the name and activities of the accused and based on the said information, the case was registered. Therefore, on technical grounds, the petitioner cannot be granted bail in a serious case where he has sent important information to the intelligence of Pakistan. If bail is granted, there is every possibility of the petitioner absconding from the case and delaying the process. Even otherwise, there will be a threat to the life of the petitioner if he comes out of jail. In order to safeguard the interest of the petitioner as well as the nation’s safety, it is not a fit case for granting bail.”
According to Jeetendar, he came in contact with a woman named Pooja on social media. In order to get her love and affection, Jeetendar wore an Indian military uniform and was chatting with Pooja. He claimed that he had not shared any incriminating material which shows he sent information to Pakistan.
In the objection petition, the police said that the investigation has revealed that the phone used by Jeetendar to contact Pooja was registered in the name of another accused, Naqash, also a Pakistani. The police found almost 78 messages, of which 30 were received from Pakistani intelligence operatives and 24 sent to Pakistani users. Four video calls were made by the petitioner to Pooja.