Naval leak case: CBI files charge sheet against two commanders

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (PTI): The CBI has filed a charge sheet against two Navy commanders Jagdeesh and Abhishek Shaw in connection with the alleged leakage of confidential information related to INS Sindhuratna-MRLC project, officials said on Wednesday.

In the fresh charge sheet, the agency has also named commander Ajit Pandey and retired Naval officer commodore Randeep Singh for alleged “leakage of information related to advance payment related to INS Sindhuratna-MRLC project”, they said.

They said while two charge sheets had already been filed against six people earlier, the probe against Navy officer commander Jagdish, who was arrested on September 21, and commander Abhishek Shaw was still on.

The CBI filed its charge sheet against commander Jagdeesh and commander Shaw on November 20, they said.

Several accused, including retired officers commodore Randeep Singh and commander SJ Singh, serving officer commander Ajit Pandey, commander Jagdish and the executive director of Hyderabad-based Allen Reinforced Plastics Ltd have already been granted default bail in the matter, they said.

The defence counsels had successfully managed to point out that the CBI admitted the Officials Secrets Act (OSA) probe was on but failed to mention it in the charge sheet which made the charge sheet against the accused incomplete, making them eligible for default bail.

An accused becomes eligible for default bail if the investigating agency does not file a charge sheet within the stipulated period of 60 days or 90 days depending on the charges pressed.

The defence counsels had argued, citing a Delhi High Court judgment, that limitation for filing charge sheet under the OSA is 60 days, not 90 days, as wrongly mentioned by the CBI.

The special court agreed with the points raised by the defence counsels and gave bail to the accused, terming the CBI charge sheet incomplete in terms of the OSA.

The agency has asked the Defence Ministry to file a complaint under the OSA against the accused. The CBI will press charges under the OSA in supplementary charge sheets if the ministry files a complaint.

The agency on September 2 had carried out searches at 19 locations in the country after getting inputs that commander SJ Singh (retired) was allegedly sharing confidential information about Mine Laying Saddles used by submarines with commodore Randeep Singh for pecuniary benefits. Both were arrested on the same day.

Later, the CBI had also arrested commander Ajit Kumar Pandey, commander Jagdish, and executives of Allen Reinforced Plastics Ltd among others.

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