BrahMos Aerospace Ex-Engineer given Life Imprisonment for Spying for Pakistan’s ISI

BrahMos missile-Nishant Agarwal

Nagpur: In a significant development, the Nagpur District and Sessions Court in Maharashtra has handed down a life imprisonment sentence to Nishant Agarwal, a former scientist at BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL). Agarwal was found guilty of leaking sensitive information to Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

  • Background:
  • Nishant Agarwal, a senior system engineer, worked at BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s Military Industrial Consortium (NPO Mashinostroyeniya).
  • The BrahMos missile project, located in Mohgaon, Nagpur, was Agarwal’s workplace for four years.
  • In October 2018, he was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Espionage Charges:
  • Agarwal was charged with violating the Official Secrets Act and engaging in espionage.
  • Investigations revealed that he had been communicating with suspected Pakistani intelligence operatives through fake social media accounts.
  • The UP police’s ATS discovered Agarwal’s interactions with two Facebook profiles using the names “Neha Sharma” and “Pooja Ranjan.”
  • Verdict:
  • Additional Sessions Judge M.V. Deshpande delivered the verdict.
  • Agarwal was sentenced as follows:
    • Life imprisonment under Section 66F of the IT Act.
    • Fourteen years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 3(1)(c) of the Official Secrets Act.
    • A fine of Rs 3,000.
    • In default of payment, six months of simple imprisonment under Sections 5(1)(a)(b)(c)(d) and 5(3) of the Official Secrets Act.
  • All sentences will run concurrently.
BrahMos missile-Nishant Agarwal

This case highlights the seriousness of espionage and the consequences of compromising national security. Agarwal’s actions have led to a landmark judgment, emphasizing the need to safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized disclosures.