A sacked Army officer has been sentenced to three years in jail by a Delhi court for trying to take seven persons to Germany in guise of members of an official band participating in the 2007 Berlin Music Festival.
Special CBI Judge Manoj Jain awarded jail term to Lance Naik Suresh Babu after holding him guilty of hatching a criminal conspiracy and committing cheating and forgery by furnishing incorrect particulars to the Ministry of External Affairs to obtain passports for them.
The court also held him guilty of committing various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, saying "he tried to smash and smear the image of Army."
The court also awarded three-year jail term to Suresh's accomplices David A Johnson and Nagarajan Israel Raja with whom he had conspired to get fake passport in violation of Section 12 of Indian Passport Act for five Punjab natives.
"As far as convict Suresh Babu is concerned, he has tried to smash and smear the good image of Army. He was the one who had got the official passports prepared and received such official passports from MEA and therefore, it was his primary duty to hand over these official passports to the Army authority.
"However, his intention was other than bonafide and he wanted to send private persons abroad through such official passports," the court said, while imposing a fine of Rs 6,000 on Suresh Babu, David and Nagarajan.
The court, however, let off Rajender Singh, Gurdev Singh, Varinder Singh and Gurjant Singh on the period of sentence they have already undergone during the trial. But a fine of Rs 21,000 was imposed on all the four, who were also convicted for cheating, forgery and under section 12 of Indian Passport Act.