Former BrahMos Aerospace Engineer Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Espionage

In a landmark decision, the Nagpur district court sentenced Nishant Agarwal, a former engineer at BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, to life imprisonment for espionage activities on behalf of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Agarwal was arrested in 2018 for leaking sensitive technical information and has now been found guilty under multiple Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the stringent Official Secrets Act.

Former Brahmos engineer Nishant Agarwal. Photo from Karma News

Background of the Case: Arrest and Charges

The court, presided over by Additional Sessions Judge MV Deshpande, also imposed a 14-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000 on Agarwal. The engineer, who worked in the technical research section at BrahMos Aerospace’s missile center in Nagpur, was apprehended during a joint operation by the military intelligence and anti-terrorism squads of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Role and Significance of BrahMos Aerospace

BrahMos Aerospace is a collaborative venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. Agarwal had been employed at the facility for four years before his arrest. The prosecution established that he had compromised national security by sharing classified information with Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

Details of the Sentencing and Penalties

The sentencing under the Official Secrets Act and various Sections of the IT Act underscore the gravity of the offense. The court found Agarwal guilty under Section 235 of the Criminal Procedure Code, highlighting the severe repercussions of his actions on national security.

In April of the previous year, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court granted bail to Agarwal. This case has drawn significant attention due to the high-profile nature of BrahMos Aerospace, a key player in India’s defense capabilities, and the international implications of the espionage activities.

Alexander Mitchell
Alexander Mitchell
Pilot on the B-767, international and overwater operations. Accomplished SIGINT/LLVI operator with five years of diverse experience in strategic and tactical operations. Adept in handling confidential information and situations with discretion. Respected leader, providing purpose, motivation, and direction focused on achieving and exceeding company goals.


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