A Delhi court on Saturday sentenced former diplomat Madhuri Gupta to three years’ imprisonment in a case of passing on sensitive official information to Pakistani intelligence officials.
However, additional sessions judge Sidharth Sharma granted her bail to challenge her conviction in the Delhi High Court.
The court had on Friday convicted her in the case. She was posted at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan as Second Secretary (Press and Information).
The court also rejected her plea for a lenient punishment. “Undoubtedly, from a person of her stature, it was expected that she would act in a more responsible manner than an ordinary citizen as she was at a high position of trust but her actions tarnished the image of the country and has caused severe threat to the security of the country. Therefore, she does not deserve any leniency in punishment,” Mr. Sharma said.
The charge sheet filed by the special cell of the Delhi police said that the accused had admitted to passing on information to Pakistani intelligence agencies. She had come in contact with intelligence officials Mubshar Raza Rana and Jamshed through journalist Javed Rashid.
Holding her guilty, Special Judge Sidharth Sharma said: “The conduct of the accused in passing on sensitive/secret information in light of evidence by the prosecution categorically proves the charge under the second part of Section 3(1)(c) [obtaining, publishing or communicating to any person any secret official information which is useful to an enemy] of the Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to a period of three years in jail, as well as under Section 5 of the Act read with Section 120-B [criminal conspiracy] of the IPC.”
The judge, however, acquitted her of the charge under the first part of Section 3(1)(c), for which the maximum sentence is 14 years.