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Gujarat High Court Denies Bail to Ex-ISRO Officer in Espionage Case

Gujarat High Court Denies Bail to Ex-ISRO Officer in Espionage Case

Background and Case Overview

The Gujarat High Court recently denied bail to Kalpesh Turi, a former technical officer at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), accused of sharing sensitive information with a woman in Pakistan. Turi allegedly sent unauthorized images of ISRO's Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad, leading to his arrest under Section 66 F(1)(B) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, for cyber terrorism. This section deals with acts that threaten the unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India.

Legal Proceedings and Arguments

Justice MR Mengdey noted that Turi had previously withdrawn a bail application, with the liberty to reapply after six months if the trial was delayed. The trial has since progressed, with several witnesses already examined. The prosecution argued that the photos sent by Turi were sensitive and taken without authorization. Senior Advocate Shalin Mehta, representing Turi, countered that the information shared was not confidential and that Turi was unaware the woman was in Pakistan.

Court's Observations and Ruling

The court observed that Turi’s previous bail plea was withdrawn under similar circumstances, and no new grounds were presented in the current application. The communication from the Space Applications Centre, stating that the shared information was not sensitive, was available during the earlier bail plea and thus did not constitute a new development. Given the ongoing trial and the unauthorized nature of the photographs, the court found no merit in granting bail at this stage.

Implications of the Decision

The court’s decision highlights the seriousness with which Indian judiciary views breaches of national security, especially involving sensitive information from critical institutions like ISRO. This ruling underscores the importance of stringent scrutiny in cases of alleged espionage and the judiciary's commitment to safeguarding national security.


The Gujarat High Court’s refusal to grant bail to Kalpesh Turi reinforces the principle that unauthorized dissemination of potentially sensitive information, even if deemed non-confidential by the accused, will be treated with utmost seriousness. This decision serves as a reminder of the rigorous legal standards applied in cases involving national security and cyber terrorism.

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