Captain (retd) Salam Singh Rathore, sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment in an offshoot of the 2006 Navy War Room leak case, today approached the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction.
Justice Najmi Waziri called for trial court records and said the court would further hear the matter on August 9.
While the 63-year-old Rathore was convicted for spying under the Official Secrets Act, the other accused in the case -- Commander (retd) Jarnail Singh Kalra -- was acquitted by the trial court.
Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Rathore, challenged the trial court's verdict, saying the co-accused has already been acquitted and there's not evidence against the retired captain.
The trial court had sentenced Rathore on July 11, observing that he does not deserve any leniency as he had committed an offence against national security and the documents found in his possession belonged to the Defence Ministry and were "directly or indirectly useful to the enemy in one way or the other".
The CBI, in its separate charge sheet filed in the case, had alleged that it had seized 17 official documents relating to various issues from Rathore's possession. Nine of these documents were secret, four restricted and one confidential, it had alleged.
Rathore's counsel had earlier told the trial court that he has rendered 28 years of unblemished service in defence.
He had submitted that Rathore had participated in anti-smuggling activities during his posting, for which he was appreciated by the Indian Navy and the central government.
The 2006 Navy War Room leak case involved the leakage of over 7,000 pages of sensitive defence information from the Naval War Room and the Air Headquarters, having a direct bearing on national security.
The accused, who are facing trial in the main case for the offence of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under the Official Secrets Act, are former naval Lieutenant Kulbhushan Parashar, former Commander Vijender Rana, sacked naval Commander V K Jha, former IAF Wing Commander Sambha Jee L Surve and Delhi-based businessman and arms dealer Abhishek Verma. All the accused are out on bail.
Prime accused Ravi Shankaran is still absconding and has been declared a proclaimed offender by the court.
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