A man now in his 80s who was charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation on a complaint filed in 1981 for an offence punishable under the Official Secrets Act for leakage of a secret government tender document has been let off by a Sessions court here with a fine of Rs.5,000 after he pleaded guilty through a plea bargain agreement entered with the investigating agency.

Charges are yet to be framed by the court in the case in which three accused have died in the interim since the charge sheet was filed.

Jawand Singh was working as liaison assistant with a private company in 1979-80 when he and six others, including the staff member of a Director in the Department of Chemicals & Fertilizers under the Union Ministry of Petroleum were involved in leakage of the document for setting up of an ammonia plant in the country.

Plea bargain

“Considering the mutual satisfactory disposition arrived at between the CBI and accused Jawand Singh, and in view of the submissions made on the point of sentence, accused Jawand Singh is hereby fined Rs 5,000 for various offence under the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Penal Code,” Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja said.

The contract to set up ammonia plants at Thal-Vaishet in Maharashtra and Hazira in Gujarat was first awarded to a US-based company, but the government reversed this decision later.

After the accused moved a plea bargain application, willing to confess his guilt for lesser punishment, the CBI agreed for disposal of the case through payment of a fine.