CBI awaits MHA nod to file Verma chargesheet

Nearly three months after the CBI registered a case under the Official Secrets Act against arms dealer Abhishek Verma, the agency has sought the Home Ministry's sanction to file chargesheet against Verma and his associates. It was alleged that confidential Defence Ministry documents, provided by his estranged associate C Edmond Allen, were leaked to private defence firms.

CBI Director A P Singh said, "The chargesheet in the case would be filed after clearance is received from the Home Ministry, which is mandatory in cases relating to the Official Secrets Act."

He added that a request has already been sent to the ministry and after getting a response the agency would proceed to file the chargesheet.

The CBI had registered a case against Verma and unknown government officials after a formal complaint was received from the Defence Ministry stating that documents purportedly provided by Allen, former escrow fund manager of Verma, were classified and violated the OSA. It was decided to register a case against Verma and unknown ministry officials under section 3 of the OSA (passing on sensitive information) and 120-B (Criminal conspiracy). The papers included those pertaining to acquisition plans for next five years for the Indian Air Force, acquisition of UAVs and infrastructure developed by IAF. A team of CBI officials recently examined Allen in US and recorded his statement.

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