Man guilty in 31-yr-old case, let off with fine

Over three decades after he was chargesheeted by the CBI in a case under the Official Secrets Act, in which charges are yet to be framed, an 85-year-old man has been let off by a Delhi court with a fine of Rs 5,000 after he pleaded guilty.

In a case that dates back to 1980, Jawand Singh Khurana, who worked as a liaison assistant with a private firm, was chargesheeted by CBI for procuring a secret document about a government contract to set up an ammonia plant.

Four of the seven accused are already dead.

Facing trial since 1983, Khurana had gone in for a plea bargaining with CBI to win his freedom.

“Considering the mutual satisfactory disposition arrived at between CBI and Jawand Singh, he is fined for Rs 5,000 for various offence under the Official Secrets Act and the IPC,” said Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja.

While working as a liaison assistant in a private firm in 1979, Khurana and six others, including the personal assistant of a director in the chemical and fertilisers department under the Union petroleum ministry, had leaked a government tender to build an ammonia plant.

The plants were proposed at Thal and Vaishet in Maharashtra and Hazira in Gujarat to US-based firm C F Braun and Company.

The CBI registered the case in March 1981 and after its probe, found that personal assistant K L Arora was responsible for leaking secret information.

Khurana won his freedom after he moved an application for plea bargaining, saying he was willing to confess his guilt in exchange for lesser punishment. The CBI also said it was ready to dispose of the case.

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