A Pune Special court on Tuesday sent the accused DRDO Scientist arrested under the Official Secrets Act to Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) custody till May 15 for further custodial interrogation.
Accused scientist Dr Pradeep Kurulkar was produced by the ATS before the special court as his custody ended today.
While demanding further custody, the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra informed the court that during the investigation several new facts have emerged and ATS has received a report from the forensic lab which include the data of electronic devices seized from the accused.
His foreign visits on diplomatic passport
Meanwhile, the ATS informed the court that the accused had also made some foreign visits with the diplomatic passport which need to be verified and some financial transactions have to be checked, also there is one more mobile phone seized in the case which needs to be examined, therefore custodial interrogation is needed.
While the defence lawyer of the accused, Rhishikesh Ganu argued that the accused is a high-rank officer and is fully cooperating with the agency. "All the materials especially electronic material has been seized by the ATS so there is no need for a physical interrogation", he said in the argument.
Here's what Court said
After hearing both sides of the remand application, the Special Court in its order stated, "During last two four days some new facts have come to light and various Forensic report has been received by Investigating Officer (IO) has recieved some retrieved data from the forensic lab (from electronic devices seized mobile). It means specific data was deleted from the mobile of the accused."
The court further said, "The same data needs to be examined as the allegations made against the accused are serious. Apparently, the accused have shared specific images and some data with the foreign national. With the position the accused is holding, certainly sensible, sensational sharing of data can be said to be anti-national on his part. If the activity is detrimental to the country's interest, more particularly to the security of the nation investigation has to be done thoroughly. Therefore custodial interrogation of the accused further is unavoidable, and sending the accused to custody till May 15."
Earlier on May 4, Senior scientist Pradeep Kurulkar of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was arrested for allegedly sharing confidential information with a Pakistani intelligence agent. He was in contact with her since 2022, according to sources from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Pradeep M Kurulkar who had been honey-trapped by the woman agent was arrested under the Official Secrets Act by the Maharashtra ATS.
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