New Delhi (Agencies): The Supreme Court issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on petitions by two retired naval officials wanting access to secret documents being relied upon against them in a case under the Official Secrets Act.

The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra issued notice after it was told that under the law it was incumbent upon the prosecution to make available all the documents to the accused—Commander (retd) Jarnail Singh Karla and Lt Commander (retd) Salam Singh Rathore—that it was relying upon to support its case.

The SC also issued notice on the petitioner's appeal seeking stay of the trial court proceedings till the petition before it challenging the Delhi High Court order was disposed.

The petitioners have challenged the Delhi High Court verdict that had held that the "court cannot compel the State to give those documents which the state considers to be confidential and the disclosure of which was prejudicial to the interest of the state".

The instant case is rooted in Naval War Room leak case. In the course of the investigation in the Naval War Room leak case, one Manish Kumar Chaudhary told CBI that Rathore was in contact with Kulbhushan Parashar—the main accused in Naval war room leak case.

Afterward, the CBI found that the recovery of alleged incriminating documents from the residences of Kalra and Rathore were in no way linked to the Naval War Room leak case and the same was de-linked. The CBI told this to the HC in its revision petition in 2007.

The apex court has given the investigating agency four weeks time to reply to its notice.