A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in New Delhi on Wednesday sentenced retired Captain Salam Singh Rathore to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in a case related to the 2005 Navy War Room leak, PTI reported. Special CBI Judge SK Aggarwal awarded the punishment for spying.
Rathore was convicted on July 7 under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. But another accused, retired Commander Jarnail Singh Kalra, was acquitted in the case, according to India Today.
The Navy War Room leak case involves the leak of over 7,000 pages of defence information from the naval war room and air defence headquarters. Serving officers allegedly passed on military secrets to unauthorised people for financial gain.
The case came to light in 2005 when the Air Force Intelligence put a Air Defence Directorate officer under surveillance, according to the Economic Times. The IAF then recovered a pen drive that contained information about India’s naval and maritime plans for the next 20 years from the residence of Wing Commander SL Surve. The leak was then traced to the Maritime Operations Centre of the Directorate of Naval Operations in Delhi.
Three war room officers – Commander Vijendra Rana of the Marine Commando Force and navigation and operations specialists Commander Vinod Kumar Jha and Captain Kashyap Kumar – were sacked without a trial.
The CBI took over the case in 2006. The agency named naval officers Rathore and Kalra in the second chargesheet. In 2014, the CBI charged them with leaking military secrets. The hearing in the main war room leak case is still going on.