Delhi court grants bail to "honeytrapped" former IAF official arrested for spying for ISI

07:32 PM Dec 05, 2023 | PTI |

A Delhi court has granted bail to a former Indian Air Force official who allegedly shared secret information with Pakistan’s ISI-backed intelligence operatives after being “honeytrapped” in 2015.


The judge noted that the accused has already spent more than half the maximum sentence prescribed for the alleged offence.

Additional Sessions Judge Aparna Swami granted the relief to Ranjith K K, who was a Leading Aircraftman, a junior ranking official below a corporal, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) posted in Bhatinda.

The judge noted the submissions made by advocates Akash Vajpai and Javed Ali, who while appearing for the accused said a close scrutiny of the case file reflected that no delay in trial can be attributed to the accused.

“As per the record, all the material witnesses have been examined. At present, 12 witnesses are left to be examined. These witnesses are police officials who in no case can be influenced by the accused. The accused has already undergone seven years and approximately 10 months period of incarceration,” the judge noted in an order passed on November 30.


Ranjith was charged for the offence punishable under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act the maximum punishment for which is 14 years in jail.

The judge noted that the conduct of the applicant in jail was “satisfactory”.

“The applicant/accused has no previous criminal antecedents or involvement(s). Further, as 12 witnesses are still to be examined in the case file, this will definitely take time for concluding the trial. Thus, as the accused has already undergone substantive period of incarceration, this court being guided by the directions of Apex Court…is of the opinion that accused is entitled to the relief,” the judge said.

Ranjith, a native of Malappuram district in Kerala, had joined the Indian Air Force in 2010.

He was booked under provisions of the Official Secrets Act.

The court granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount.

The judge directed him to not tamper with evidence or try to influence the witnesses.

“The applicant shall report in the concerned Police Station in the District of Malapuram, Kerala, on every 15th day of the month and will provide his contact number to the concerned Police Station. The applicant shall not leave the country without prior permission of the court,” the judge said.

According to the prosecution, Ranjith was deceived by a cyber entity by the name Damini McNaught, who pretended to be an executive of a UK-based media firm and claimed she required from him some Air Force-related information for an article in her news magazine in exchange for pecuniary benefits.

Ranjith allegedly shared confidential information with her which mostly pertained to IAF exercises, aircraft movements and deployment of various units in exchange for money, police had said.

Ranjith had also received a few Voice Over Internet Protocol-based calls on his mobile phone during which a female with British accent introduced herself as Damini McNaught and even interviewed him once.

She later assigned him the task of getting more information, police said.


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