MUMBAI: A sessions court on Monday sentenced a visa agent to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment for being a Pakistani spy. Mazgaon resident Javed Mozawala (32) was convicted under the Official Secrets Act after being found guilty of being in possession of sensitive documents such as the telephone directory of the defence command headquarters and pictures of vital installations. This is the second conviction of a suspected Pakistani agent in two years.
Mozawala, a resident of Mazgaon (East), was arrested on December 9, 2010 on charges of spying. Elaborating on the grounds of Mozawala’s conviction (under the act’s section 4—communication with foreign agents) judge Vrushali Joshi said, “The accused was in contact with persons in the Pakistan embassy (sic) named Jamal Bhatti and Abdul Latif Bhatti who were from Pakistan.”
She added: “(This) shall be relevant for the purpose of proving that he has for the purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the state, obtained information, which is directly useful to an enemy.”
Referring to the telephone directory, the judge said it was a restricted document, which could be misused by “civilians with wrong intent”. She said the directory revealed detailed information about the functioning of the army and Pakistan’s intelligence operatives had called on the numbers to draw information about the organization, its appointments and functions. “Therefore, it is a matter of security concern.”
The evidence the court took into account included pictures of the spillway section of the Lonavla Dam and the Pir Pau Jetty. “If something goes wrong at the… dam, the entire lake water will get drained into Lonavala city. There will be floods… and this will cause damage to life and property. It will cause havoc,” the judge observed. She said the jetty’s photographs could be used by the nation’s enemies to plan attacks, “causing economic distress and industrial disaster” that would affect fuel supply to Mumbai.
After the conviction was pronounced, special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty sought maximum punishment for Mozawala. “This is a very serious offence. He has done it for monetary benefits,” said Shetty.
Mozawala started sobbing inconsolably when the court sentenced him. His mother, Kulsum Bi, told the court, “My son is innocent. He has two little girls. Please leave him.” The judge replied, “What has happened has happened.”