IHC suspends ASI’s penalty under Official Secrets Act

IHC suspends ASI’s penalty under Official Secrets Act

Defendant’s lawyer argues that prosecution has failed to produce evidence; bail confirmed on bail of Rs 200,000


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday suspended the prison sentence of Islamabad Police Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Zahoor Ahmed under the Official Secrets Act.

In December 2021, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) initiated proceedings against ASI Ahmed for planning a meeting with a foreign diplomat and intending to disclose confidential information and documents related to national security to a foreign agent.

Zahoor was released on bail in January 2022.

However, on May 19, the inspector was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison by a special court for cases brought under the State Secrets Protection Act for handing over secret documents to a foreign envoy.

Today, IHC Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the officer’s appeal against the sentence and stayed it on probation, asking him to furnish bail of Rs 200,000.

To read Pakistan grants India consular access for two suspected spies

Advocate Imran Feroze Malik, representing the appellant in court, contended that the prosecution was unable to produce evidence under the Official Secrets Act.

The Secrecy Act

The Official Secrets Act 1923 criminalizes the disclosure of state secrets to protect national security.

Under this law, unauthorized access to and disclosure of confidential information is a criminal offense. This legislation is designed to protect national security and maintain the confidentiality of the state’s operations and activities.

Violations of the Official Secrets Act are treated as serious offences and the law provides for severe penalties, including imprisonment, to deter individuals from endangering national security.

The law applies to both government officials and civilians and ensures that any breach of confidentiality is punished to the full extent of the law.