New Delhi: An 85-year-old man, chargesheeted by the CBI under the Official Secret Act over 30 years ago for procuring a secret document about a government contract for setting up an ammonia plant, has been let off by a Delhi court with a fine of Rs 5,000 after he pleaded guilty to his act.

Jawand Singh Khurana, who worked as a liaison assistant with a private firm in 1979-80, pleaded guilty and won his freedom in the three-decade-old case, in which charges are yet to be framed and in which four of the seven accused are already dead.

Facing trial since 1983, Khurana earlier had gone in for plea bargaining with the CBI to win his freedom.

"Considering the mutual satisfactory disposition arrived at between the CBI and accused Jawand Singh and in view of the submissions made on the point of sentence, accused Jawand Singh is hereby fined for Rs 5,000 for various offence under the Official Secrets Act and the IPC,” said Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja, while letting off Khurana.

While working as a liaison assistant in a private firm in 1979-80, Khurana and six others, including the personal assistant of a director in the Department of Chemical and Fertilisers, under the Union Ministry of Petroleum, were involved in leakage of a government tender document for setting up of an ammonia plant in India.

The CBI case dated back to 1979 when the Centre had given the contract of setting up of ammonia plants at Thal-Vaishet in Maharashtra and Hazira in Gujarat to US-based M/s C F Braun and Company.

(Agencies)