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Indian Diplomat Convicted For Spying For Pakistan

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Madhuri Gupta was posted as second secretary, press and information in the Indian Embassy in Pakistan several years back. She was an IFS officer promoted from its Group B cadre. On 22April 2010, she was arrested by the Delhi police’s special cell under the Official Secrets Act on charges of passing classified information to Pakistani Embassy officials posted at Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi. These Pakistani officials were Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed through journalist Javed Rashid. The first two officials were actually ISI officers posted to the Embassy.

The motive for spying,as found out by sleuths, behind sharing of information by Gupta was her love for Jamshed. The prosecution relied on an email to prove the motive. The court, however, acquitted Gupta of the more serious provision of Section 3 (spying) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, which has a maximum punishment of 14 years.

The espionage activity started as a love affair between the Indian diplomat and a Pakistani ISI agent. The arrest was made in 2010.The charge was framed in 2016 after the state successfully sought the intervention of the Delhi high court. The prosecution examined 27 witnesses, including senior officials of the MEA, High Commission of India at Islamabad and Defence Ministry.

Special prosecutor Irfan Ahmed stressed the more serious charge, entailing a 14-year jail term, as Gupta had passed on certain information pertaining to the “work of defence and factory.” Defence counsel Joginder Singh Dahiya contested the prosecution’s case, arguing the information was not related to “any work of defence or affairs of government. Gupta’s lawyer argued she was neither in possession nor control of any such information and, therefore, should be acquitted of all charges.

The Delhi court finally found the diplomat guilty of spying with the intention of helping an “enemy country”. Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma said that “She had been giving information regarding various postings of officials of defence, MEA and HCI as well as their family particulars, which would have caused danger to the life and security of officials,”.She was finally awarded a jail Sentence of three years.