Ex-ISRO Officer Charged With Cyberterrorism Denied Bail Again 

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Ex-ISRO Officer Charged With Cyberterrorism Denied Bail Again 

| Updated: June 12, 2024 11:36

High Court says no change in circumstances in case

The Gujarat High Court has refused to grant bail to Kalpesh Turi, a former technical officer in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who is facing charges of cyberterrorism for allegedly being in contact with a woman stationed in Pakistan.

The HC refused his bail for a second time on Monday after having done so in October last year.

Arguing on Turi’s behalf, senior advocate Shalin Mehta had submitted before Justice M R Mengdey’s court that though it was alleged that Turi had shared confidential information with the woman in Pakistan, a communication by the Space Applications Centre’s (SAC) Personnel and General Administration department to the Anti Terrorist Squad’s police inspector said the information in the files shared by Turi “were not secret, confidential and sensitive in nature, nor did the said information relate to safety, security and intellectual property of the country.”

Mehta further said the accused had a blotless career of 17 years with ISRO SAC and was unaware that the woman concerned was not stationed in India. Mehta argued that Turi merely forwarded photos which were his workplace selfies.

However, the prosecution opposed these statements and said that the photographs were of the ISRO SAC premises in Ahmedabad.

No authorisation for photos

The court noted that the files/images which were forwarded by Turi to the woman, “were related to the SAC, ISRO, Ahmedabad and were taken by the applicant without any authorization from the Space Applications Centre’s authorities, nor any permission in that regard were sought by him.”

The court, while rejecting Turi’s bail, also took into consideration that trial in the case has commenced and several witnesses have already been examined by the prosecution and thus “there appears no change in circumstance after the filing of the earlier bail application”.

Turi was arrested in January by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in Ahmedabad. At the time, he was working as an antenna mechanical engineer in the mechanical integration team at the SAC unit of ISRO in Ahmedabad. He had been working with ISRO since 2012.

The ATS lodged the FIR on January 7, charging Turi with cyberterrorism under the Information Technology Act’s section 66 F(1)(B).

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