No bail for engineer accused of leaking info to ISI

No bail for engineer accused of leaking info to ISI

The sessions court here on Monday rejected the bail plea of Brahmos Aerospace engineer Nishant Agrawal accused of passing off sensitive information to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI. (PTI Photo)

The sessions court here on Monday rejected the bail plea of Brahmos Aerospace engineer Nishant Agrawal accused of passing off sensitive information to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.

In his application filed before the Nagpur district court last month, Agrawal had said that he never possessed any secret information with him.

The bail application was rejected by district and sessions court judge F M Ali.

Agrawal, a senior systems engineer in Brahmos Aerospace facility in Nagpur, was arrested on October 8, 2018, in a joint operation by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Brahmos Aerospace is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Military Industrial Consortium (NPO Mashinostroyenia) of Russia.

Last week, prosecution lawyer Nitin Telgote had told the court that there was a prima facie evidence against the accused.

Telgote had contended that sensitive information of Brahmos was stored in the laptop and hard disk of Agrawal.

"Agrawal had been asked to download an app from a fake ID as a part of the honey trap. As a result, Brahmos files and mechanism were automatically made available to Pakistani agents, which can pose danger to the country's security.

"As a Brahmos employee, Agrawal was not supposed to reveal his identity which he did on a social media platform. This indicates his direct involvement in anti-national activities," the prosecution lawyer had argued.

Presenting his arguments prior to prosecution, defence counsel Prakash Jaiswal had contented that the prosecution's allegation that a spy from Pakistan was operating two Facebook accounts with whom the engineer was in touch with, cannot be verified.

He had said the director of Brahmos had said in his reply that there was no specific information given to Agrawal which could have been forwarded by him to others.

"Moreover, all the laptops and computers in Brahmos have an in-built technology which could not be copied, which means Agrawal could not have forwarded any information," Jaiswal had said.

He had told the court that the accused did not have any secret information and what he stored in his laptop was the study material that he had received after joining Brahmos in 2013.

It was alleged that Agrawal was in contact with two Facebook accounts -- 'Neha Sharma' and 'Pooja Ranjan' -- suspected to be operated by Pakistani intelligence agents.

He has been booked under the Official Secrets Act and is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.