The CBI needed to reduce a sorry face after a different courtroom granted bail to retired Army officials Randeep Singh and SJ Singh and others in a case of alleged leak of confidential knowledge on submarine initiatives for pecuniary positive aspects, terming the company’s chargesheets as “incomplete” as the documents do not mention anything about a probe under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), officials said.
Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj granted default bail to the retired officers — Commodore Randeep Singh and Commander SJ Singh — who were arrested on September 2, and Sastry, who was arrested on September 8, on a personal bond of Rs one lakh each and other conditions. An accused becomes eligible for default bail if the investigating agency does not file the chargesheet within a stipulated period of 60 days or 90 days, depending on the charges pressed.
The judge said although the agency had filed its charge sheets within 60 days on November 2, the documents are “incomplete” as the ones don’t point out the rest concerning the probe below the OSA, making the accused eligible for bail.
“The chargesheet filed earlier than the courtroom is incomplete in up to there’s no point out in regards to the investigation being performed below the Respectable Secrets and techniques Act, regardless that the similar was once being performed on this case itself. The chargesheet thus, is incomplete for the needs of segment 167(2) of CrPC (default bail),” she said.
The agency had made a mention of the pending OSA investigation for the first time while replying to the bail applications of the accused, which were dismissed on November 10 as there was “no clarity regarding the status of the case under the Official Secrets Act, the computation of time period for offences discovered later in the investigation etc.”, the pass judgement on had famous.
“It was once said within the answer of the CBI that the investigation was once being carried out below the Respectable Secrets and techniques Act, the Ministry of Defence has been asked to document a proper grievance as according to legislation and the supplementary fee sheet would observe,” the judge noted.
The defence lawyers cited a Delhi High Court judgment stating that since there is no minimum stipulated punishment under the OSA, charge sheets have to be filed within 60 days to deny default bail to the accused. The judge pointed out that the CBI had taken over the probe in respect of section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and other sections were added as the investigation progressed.
“At no point did the CBI inform the court that an investigation under the Official Secrets Act has also been taken up,” she stated. The pass judgement on famous that the investigation officer knowledgeable, when inquired, that the Army according to a reference from the CBI had advised the company that the paperwork recovered had been confidential in nature.
The reaction of the Army was once won on October 14 and October 19, she identified. The pass judgement on stated the company filed two chargesheets on November 2 however there was once no point out of the OSA investigation being performed via the company.
It was once best according to the bail packages of the accused that the CBI stated in an effort to begin a probe below sections 3 and 5 of the OSA, a grievance from the defence ministry was once required for which the company had despatched an offer to the ministry, she stated. Mentioning Very best Court docket and top courtroom judgments, the pass judgement on stated it was once “incumbent upon the CBI” to have filed its chargesheets within 60 days, mentioning that the investigation on its part was complete and that the reference has been made to the ministry concerned for filing a complaint under the relevant sections.
The court said even if it is considered for the sake of arguments that the CBI had forwarded the application for a formal complaint and the ball was in the court of the ministry — though the argument of the prosecutor is that the investigation is also going on — the part of the CBI was not over in as much as it was expected to file a report alongside the said complaint with all the evidence collected by it.
The CBI had carried out raids on retired naval officers Commodore Randeep Singh and Commander Satwinder Jeet Singh on September 2 after getting information that the latter was going to share crucial details related to a meeting in the Navy on procurement. Both were arrested on the same day.
The agency is probing allegations into the leak of confidential information pertaining to procurement and maintenance of naval equipment for pecuniary benefits and bribery in a deal for a mine-laying saddle from Allen Reinforced Plastics Limited.