Written by: Shikha Singh (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
Nations across the globe tend to practice spying as a mode to prepare and remain cautious to sail smoothly in the global set up. According to the available literature, technically espionage is a medium through which the government uses spies to decipher the confidential military and political (skeleton under the cupboard facts) information of foreign nations. The spectrum of espionage is wide. It may have multiple motives to conquer like spying in quenches of stealing technology or any delicate industrial information.
Laws in India
In India the laws and legislations governing the act of espionage are extremely stringent. The laws laid down to define the very culpability under such an illegal act are found in the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1889. OSA section 3 and section 5 defines the exact charges to be put in order to book the perpetrator. Under these sections the one who delivers the sensitive data through communication and the one who receives it, both are held equally liable.
ISRO Espionage case 1994
In the popular case dating back in 1994, an ISRO scientist Dr. Nambi Narayanan was booked with another fellow scientist under the charges of espionage. They were therefore accused of divulging some secret and confidential documents on cryogenic engines to other nations, including Pakistan, albeit later in the case when Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluded with its investigation report, Dr Narayanan and the other scientist were found to be falsely framed and were immediately absolved after receiving a clean chit from CBI in 1996. The findings of the investigation report pointed out gross negligence and unprofessional work at the part of police officials. In the statement Dr. Narayanan claimed that there was no evidence against him as the technology for which he was being framed did not even exist back then in 1994.
The Apex court consisting of a bench headed by Justice Deepak Misra asked the Kerala government to provide the scientist with a reward of rupees 50 lakhs as compensation for false incarceration. The frivolous and false accusations jeopardized the entire 24 years of the doctor’s career in his profession. Such fabricated and vexatious allegations certainly take a toll on the life of an individual. It proves to be against fundamental human rights due to the exploitation one feels in the name of being a traitor to the nation itself. The state of mental health is also tossed due to societal shame and other psychopathological traumas attached.