New Delhi, Oct. 24: Delhi High Court has directed the CBI to report by January 15, 2004, what action it has taken against some Union home ministry officials who allegedly had prior information about the Purulia armsdrop but failed to inform police.
The court issued a notice to the bureau yesterday on a fresh petition by Calcutta-based legal activist Deepak Prahladka.
Prahladka alleged that some ministry officials had prior information about the armsdrop but failed to inform police and the bureau chargesheet did not mention this.
As a result, on December 17, 1995, a huge quantity of AK-47 rifles and other weapons was dropped from an aircraft at Purulia in Bengal. The aircraft was ordered to land at Mumbai airport five days later, the petitioner said.
Kim Davy, the main accused and aircraft owner, five Russian crew members and Britisher Peter Bleach were on board. But Davy was found to be missing immediately after the aircraft landed, Prahladka contented.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against Davy and 12 others on March 20, 1996. But it did not mention that the officials concerned had prior information about the armsdrop, the 65-page petition alleged.
“It was clear from a letter dated June 10, 1998, of the British Home Office, Organised and International Crime Directorate, that Bleach gave first information about Davy’s designs to drop arms in India on August 22, 1995, and the Indian authorities were informed on November 22 about the possibility of delivery of arms at Dhanbad area,” the petition said.
“It was clear from a letter dated December 12, 1995, of the then joint secretary (internal security) of Union home ministry to the then chief secretary of West Bengal . Krishnamurthy and (the) chief secretary of Bihar that they had prior information of designs to drop arms in Purulia, but none of them informed the police despite the fact that under Section 39(i) of the Criminal Procedure Code they were legally bound to do so.”
“If the public servants, who had received prior information from the British authority, had informed the police, then Davy, who has been found to be living freely in Denmark, and his aircraft loaded with the weapons could have been arrested at Varanasi airport on December 17, 1995, prior to dropping arms, when it (the aircraft) landed there for refuelling and the name of recipient could have been revealed,” Prahladka argued.
“Omission to give information to police about designs of dropping arms is punishable under Section 119 of the Indian Penal Code for ten years in jail. But till now the CBI has not taken any action for the arrest and prosecution of Shashi Prakash, Krishnamurthy and other public servants. It was clear that the CBI was engaged to cover up the truth and protect the public servants,” the petition alleged.