New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to provide the files on the basis of which the services of some army officers, caught for allegedly spying for Pakistan in 1978 in the infamous Samba spy case, were terminated.
Between August 1978 and January 1979, several army officers were arrested for allegedly spying for Pakistan in the Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir between 1972 and 1978.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that a three-judge bench of the top court has already decided the matter in 2014.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for those officials, told the bench that a division bench of Delhi High Court had in 2010, while setting aside the termination order of former officers Major SP Sharma, Captain Arun Sharma, Major Ajwani and Major R K Midha, had held that the action taken against them was bad in law.
He said that thereafter the matter came to the apex court and a three-judge bench had upheld the Centre’s decision to terminate the services of army officers while overturning the high court’s verdict.
Bhushan claimed that the government had shown some files to the three-judge bench to buttress their arguments that these Army officers were Pakistani spies but these were not made available to them.
“I am not challenging the termination of service at all,” he said, adding, “at least those files should be shown to these officials”.
“This is a huge stigma. Please give us an opportunity to restore our honour,” he said, while referring to a book by a former chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB) who had said that the case was doubtful.
He alleged that the case was based on false testimonies of two persons and there was no evidence against the officers whose services were terminated.
“The petitioners have a right to access the documents on the basis of which they have been defamed, their reputation has been tarnished and on the basis of which the judgment of the High Court of Delhi was set aside by this Court.
“Denial of documents which gravely concern and affect the petitioners is not only in violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution but the same is also subversive of rule of law and democracy,” the plea said.