SC rejects plea of former IAF officer looking for bail in spying case

New Delhi, October 8

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused bail to a former IAF official who is facing trial for allegedly sharing secret information with those suspected to be backed by Pakistan’s ISI, saying he is a “danger” to the entire nation.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde dismissed the plea filed by Ranjith K K challenging the Delhi High Court order which had rejected his bail application.

“You are a danger to the entire nation. If you will seek permission to meet your mother, we will allow it,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

“The special leave petition is dismissed. Pending application(s), if any, shall also stand disposed of,” the bench said in its order.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner told the bench that Ranjith has been in jail for around five years in the case, under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), and he has not seen his mother who is in Kerala.

“You should have thought about all this before you did it,” the bench observed.

Before the high court, Ranjith had sought bail saying he was only 24 years of age at the time of his arrest and the only charge framed against him is under section 3 of the Official Secrets Act for which maximum punishment is 14 years.

In its order, the high court had noted that according to the FIR and the order by which charge was framed against him, the petitioner is accused of having passed on sensitive data to persons who were intending to threaten the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

The high court had noted that status report filed by the prosecution showed that various documents have been recovered including WhatsApp messages, chat history, forwarding of a map of the Air Force base etc.

The high court had observed that accused ought not to be granted bail at this stage as trial in the case was still underway.

The police had earlier alleged that he had shared secret information with intelligence operatives suspected to be backed by Pakistan’s ISI after being honey-trapped.

He had joined the Indian Air Force as a leading aircraftsman. — PTI

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