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RAW frames charges against CIA spy
November 01, 2006 20:12 IST
More than two years after he fled to the United States, the Research and Analysis Wing has filed a charge sheet against dismissed joint-secretary Rabinder Singh, accused of indulging in espionage.
Singh, who fled from the country in May 2004, was charged under the Officials Secrets Act in the complaint filed in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court by Additional Commissioner Arun Kumar, informed sources said.
The complaint, the term used for a charge sheet in cases under the Officials Secrets Act, alleges that Singh, a 1978 batch RAS officer, spied for a western intelligence agency and compromised national security.
In a departure from the past, special sanction was given by the Cabinet secretariat to RAW, the country's external intelligence agency, for prosecuting Singh as the agency does not have any prosecuting powers.
This move is understood to have been taken in view of the secrets of national importance involved in the case.
Singh allegedly sought copies of important documents from his junior in other departments and photocopied them before being passed them on to his handlers.
Singh, who was the joint-secretary (Southeast Asia), was dismissed by the government in 2004 after getting the President's nod for the move.
Singh, who defected to the US via Nepal, is believed to be in New Jersey. He was suspected to be spying for the Central Intelligence Agency.
The officer, who went missing on May 14, 2004, was a major from the army on deputation to the RAW. He chose to be permanently absorbed in the agency after completing his deputation.
During his tenure in RAW, Singh worked as head of its office in Amritsar and then as a field operative in West Asia and West Europe. Later, he held charge of the Southeast Asia desk as a joint secretary.
The government tried to confiscate his properties and other things but failed to do so as Singh had already sold his property or registered his assets in the names of his kin.His disappearance caused major embarrassment for the government, which constituted a high-level committee to go into the functioning of the RAW. The agency's counter-surveillance mechanism has been handed over to the Intelligence Bureau, despite reservations from RAW.