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Defence ministry files OSA violation complaint with CBI

August 24, 2012 18:07 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday received a formal complaint from the defence ministry on the alleged violation of Official Secrets Act with regard to secret documents provided by arms dealer Abhishek Verma's estranged business associate which may result in another case against him.

The CBI is going through the complaint and might soon register the case for alleged violation of the Officials Secrets Act which may involve Verma, agency sources said.

The sources said the defence ministry has not named Verma in its complaint and has requested the CBI to probe the alleged 'leakage of the secret documents'.

The agency is, however, taking legal opinion on the alleged involvement of Verma as documents were not recovered from his possession but were provided by a third person, they said.

The CBI after registering the case is likely to probe senior ministry officials and retired defence personnel who are under the agency's scanner for their alleged relations with Verma and other arms supplier lobbyists.

United States-based attorney C Edmond Allen, who was a business associate of Verma, had provided documents which deal with acquisition and future plans of the defence forces to the CBI and other investigating agencies, alleging that these were provided by Verma to show his influence in defence circles.

The Defence Ministry had already provided the agency with the list of nearly seven documents which it found to be coming under the definition of secret under the OSA.

However, the agency was waiting for a formal complaint from the ministry to ascertain whether the 'secret' documents were in public domain or not because it felt that some of them could have been provided to defence manufacturers.

The documents which are believed to be of secret nature include acquisition plans for next five years for the Indian Air Force, sources said.

They said some of these documents include acquisition of UAVs and related system besides infrastructure developed by the IAF.

Allen and Verma have been engaged in litigations after their business ties turned sour. Verma had filed a case against Allen accusing him of cheating him of Rs 55 crore and forging documents to defame him. A litigation between the two is going on in the US as well.

On the other hand, Allen had sent complaints of alleged money laundering and other related crimes against Verma to various investigating agencies of India as well as the US.

The CBI has already booked Verma and his Romanian wife Ancea Neascu for allegedly taking USD 5.30 lakh from Swiss firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG for using his 'influence' to stall the blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced.

Both are currently in judicial custody. The agency last week slapped a case of alleged forgery against him as well. The enforcement directorate has also arrested the couple in a money laundering case.

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