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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Try tea tycoons for defence leaks: Court

The Times of India

TNN Feb 20, 2012, 05.08AM IST

NEW DELHI: A special CBI court has paved the way for commencement of trial against the owners of the world's first tea plantation company - K K Jajodia and his son Aditya Jajodia -for allegedly dispatching documents pertaining to security of the nation to two European countries.
The Jajodias are founder members of Assam Company Ltd (ACL), the flagship company of Duncan Macneill Group, established in 1839 by a deed of British Parliament. It was the first tea plantation company in the world and was awarded a royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1845.

On February 13, the court of special CBI judge Pradeep Chaddha ordered framing of charges against the duo in a 25-year-old case where they were booked along with senior government officials for allegedly leaking and dispatching a report of the defence ministry. The report reportedly contained details of equipment including radar and 'flycatchers' for detection and tracking of low-flying enemy aircraft.
"On face of it, it would indicate that both father and son were engaged in dispatching/selling documents pertaining to security of the nation," said Judge Chaddha. He said he found sufficient prima facie evidence against the duo to frame charges under criminal conspiracy and a few sections of Official Secrets Act.
The court has also framed charges against N W Nerukar, then advisor in the department of electronics, and against Brigadier R S Deol, who served in the directorate of weapons and equipment, Army Headquarters, between March 1986 and March 1988.
As per the CBI, on April 13, 1987, acting on a tip-off, senior CBI officials picked up two couriers from a courier company at Barakhamba road. The first packet was addressed to one Marc De Saint Dennis of Paris and contained a photocopy of "User Evaluation Trial Report on RATAC-S Battlefield Surveillance Rader (BFSR) phase-I". The second cover was addressed to Mr J W H Weavers, Netherlands, and contained typed draft in 13 pages containing details of radar, flycatcher and other arms and ammunition. Following this interception, the CBI teams raided Jajodia's Vasant Vihar residence and allegedly found more documents pertaining to details of utility helicopters required by the army from K K Jajodia's bedroom.
"Seizure of further documents from the house of Jajodias raises suspicion that they were involved in the peddling of secrets. Had nothing been recovered from their residence probably opinion of the court would have been different but further recovery from the residence clinches the issue for the time being and it seems that they were indeed involved with leakage of defence secrets," said Judge Chaddha, who has now put the case for February 23.

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