Court orders in-camera trial for former RAW official

April 11th, 2008 - 11:16 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) A city court Friday ordered the in-camera trial of Major General (retd) V.K. Singh, a former top official of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), for allegedly using classified information in his book. Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kapoor allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea for beginning the trial in-camera as the “nature of the sensitivity” of the information in the book was detrimental to the security of the country.

Singh, a former joint secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing, had written “India’s External Intelligence: Secrets of RAW”.

Meanwhile, the CBI Friday formally filed a charge sheet against Singh in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kanwaljeet Arora, who posted the matter for April 17.

Arguing before the sessions judge, Singh’s counsel Anoop Khullar claimed that the CBI was keen on an in-camera trial because of the “sensitive” reports appearing in various newspapers.

Khullar claimed that the book exposed several lacunae in the functioning of the RAW, the most glaring being the anomalies in the procurement of equipment, lack of accountability and dependence on foreign sources.

He argued the media had every right to report the proceedings.

Earlier this week, the court had reserved its order on the in-camera trial.

Singh had this week moved an application in the court fearing that the documents that can prove his innocence could be damaged. The court issued notice to the CBI on the matter returnable April 17.

Singh said the documents of all purchases of some hardware and software programmes made by the RAW and other documents pertaining to the deals mentioned in his book should be preserved.

Khullar alleged the CBI booked Singh under the Official Secrets Act for writing a book that is available in the market and is not banned.

The investigating agency Sep 19 last year registered a case against Singh for allegedly violating Section 5 (wrongful communication of information) of the Official Secrets Act.

The CBI had raided Singh’s house last September after the government filed a complaint with the probe agency.

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