A Delhi court on Saturday extended by 14 days the judicial custody of diplomat Madhuri Gupta, accused of passing classified information to Pakistani intelligence agencies.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja extended her judicial custody till May 29 after the probe agency submitted during in-chamber proceedings that the sanction from government was awaited to initiate further action against the diplomat.
Emerging out of the in-camera proceedings, Ms. Gupta’s advocate Joginder Dahiya said, “The Delhi police informed the court that they have filed an application under Section 197 of the CrPC seeking sanction for the prosecution of the woman officer.”
The proceedings were held in camera in view of the sensitivity of the case.
Meanwhile, 53-year-old Ms. Gupta sought the copy of the FIR registered against her in the case. Ms. Gupta is under police custody since April 23.
While opposing police custody during the earlier proceedings, Ms. Gupta’s counsel had claimed that police had not placed sufficient evidence against her in the court and they wanted her custody to confront her with the records.
“They don’t talk much about what evidence they have got against her because they were seeking remand only on the ground that they want to confront her with the records. They have not shown much records before the court as to what evidence they have collected against her so far,” her lawyer had said.
Ms. Gupta was arrested after being called back from Islamabad where she was posted as Second Secretary in the Press and Information wing for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act.
The official came under the scanner after she showed “extra-ordinary” interest in areas beyond her role in the information wing of the mission.
Central security agencies then briefed senior MEA officials about her activities in Pakistan which included supplying of sensitive and classified documents related to Indian activities in that country and Afghanistan.
A promotee officer of Ministry of External Affairs, Ms. Gupta was working in the Mission for nearly three years.
She was well versed in Urdu and her services were utilised for translation and interpretation. Earlier, she was posted in the Indian Mission in Kuala Lumpur and worked with ‘India Perspective’, a magazine of the External Publicity wing of MEA.