This Morning, Former Prime Minister of India, On Monday, Manmohan Singh ADMITTED to meeting the Pakistani delegation at the residence of suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.
In a statement, he said, “I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Shri Modi. Nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else present at the dinner. The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations. Names of the distinguished Indian public servants and journalists present at the dinner arc enclosed to this statement. None of them could be accused of indulging in any anti-national activities”
But for an Ex PM Who knows the secrets of our country, cannot meet the serving Envoy of the “Enemy State” who is covered by ISI, Pakistani Spy Agency, secretly in a private meeting without informing the Foreign ministry and the government of India.
According to the Official secret Act 1923 is India’s anti espionage (“Spy” and “Secret agent”) act held over from British colonisation. It states clearly that “actions which involves helping an enemy state against India”. It also states that one cannot approach, inspect, or even pass over a prohibited government site or area. According to this Act, helping the enemy state can be in the form of communicating a sketch, plan, model of an official secret, or of official codes or passwords, to the enemy.
Prosecution and penalties
Punishments under the Act range from three to fourteen years imprisonment. A person prosecuted under this Act can be charged with the crime even if the action was unintentional and not intended to endanger the security of the state. The Act only empowers persons in positions of authority to handle official secrets, and others who handle it in prohibited areas or outside them are liable for punishment.
Journalists have to help members of the police forces above the rank of the sub-Inspector and members of the Armed forces with investigation regarding an offence, up to and including revealing his sources of information (If required).
Under the Act, search warrants may be issued at any time if the magistrate feels that based on the evidence in front of them there is enough danger to the security of the state.
Uninterested members of the public may be excluded from court proceedings if the prosecutions feels that any information which is going to be passed on during the proceedings is sensitive. This also includes media; so the journalists will not be allowed to cover that particular case.
When a company is seen as the offender under this Act, everyone involved with the management of the company including the board of directors can be liable for punishment. In the case of a newspaper everyone including the editor, publisher and the proprietor can be jailed for an offence. OSA is controversial to the modern RTI act 2005.