Harassment: RAW style

new-picture-4.pngEX RAW man caught up in legal wrangles

Sunetra ChoudhuryThursday, February 7, 2008 (New Delhi)

      The case of former spy Gen VK Singh came up in the district courts this week but it didn’t go far.

       He is in court because he wrote about his ex-employer, India’s external intelligence agency, RAW.

      He was charged under the Official Secrets Act, and in just the last four months, he’s had nine hearings and not a single decision.

      Gen VK Singh keeps going through the officers’ Code but he can’t find what he did wrong. He reads: ”An indicator of deterioration in moral values is propensity of senior officers to live off land, a euphemism for misusing perks.”

       He waits in his lawyer’s chamber for yet another hearing on his bail petition. In the Tis Hazari courts, four judges have already refused to take a decision and so Singh, like a million other litigants, is playing the waiting game.

      When the hearing ends, it’s another day of waiting gone to waste. The CBI doesn’t allow the media to report on his case.

      ”The matter is sub-judice, we cannot make comment,” said Chander Maini, Lawyer.

       However, Singh can comment. It’s a logjam he says, a legal system which accepts the right to information in theory but is still stuck with the Official Secrets Act that the law commission says should be repealed. Singh has been booked under the Act for writing about his time as a spy.

     ”For instance in a chapter of the book I tell them about substandard equipment that was procured. The tender has gone out to various countries, so there’s nothing classified about it,” said VK Singh, CBI accused.

      It may sound straightforward but for every judge who’s been involved, it’s not.

       In the crowded courts and judicial system, Gen VK Singh’s case seems to be lost. He’s got a future court date but his hopes of that being positive are not very high.

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