In a significant development, the state prosecution has filed a plea before the special ATS court requesting an in-camera hearing for the bail plea of Pradeep Kurulkar, a senior scientist at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Kurulkar was arrested in connection with an alleged espionage case that has garnered considerable attention.
Special public prosecutor Vijay Fargade presented the plea during the bail plea hearing, which was underway with Kurulkar’s lawyer, Rishikesh Ganu, presenting arguments in favor of his client’s bail. Fargade cited the sensitive nature of the case and the involvement of classified information related to BrahMos and Agni missiles as reasons for the prosecution’s request for an in-camera hearing.
Special Judge V R Kachare acknowledged the prosecution’s plea and directed the defense to respond to it. The judge also postponed the hearing of the bail plea to September 4. During the hearing, Pradeep Kurulkar appeared before the court through video conferencing from the Yerawada central prison.
Explaining the rationale behind the prosecution’s plea, Fargade stated, “The prosecution has a prerogative to file such plea under the CrPC and the Official Secrets Act in sensitive cases because the accused is facing serious charges of supplying classified information, and disclosure of such information in open court is not good in public interest.”
Kurulkar’s lawyer, Rishikesh Ganu, argued that his client had cooperated with the investigation and shared a substantial amount of information with the ATS, including messages and chats. However, Ganu emphasized that no incriminating evidence was found against Kurulkar despite the extensive investigation.
Ganu further informed the court that investigations were concluded, and the defense had filed requests to obtain copies of the preliminary inquiry report and classified information submitted by the ATS. The defense has been striving to access these documents, sealed in an envelope, to build a comprehensive understanding of the case.