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The False Spy

The False Spy

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The False Spy

343 pages
3 heures
May 3, 2017


Between August 1978 and January 1979, in a brief span of six months, 50-odd army persons were arrested by the Military Intelligence authorities under the charge of spying for Pakistan in what eventually came to be known as the ‘Samba Spy Scandal’.
What followed was nothing less than a humiliating debacle of justice in one of the most sordid dramas of greed, intrigues, cowardice and fabrication, as the judicial bodies were plunged into a see-saw between the preposterous claims made by the MI authorities and the facts stated by the accounts of the many soldiers who were framed in this scenario.

When Major Ajwani joined the army in 1964, he had the same rosy picture of the organization being the epitome of bravery, loyalty, discipline and flawless conduct that is embedded in the minds of most Indians. The author leads us by the hand through his very first days in the army, the initial tokens of success, soon to be overshadowed by the rude awakening to the rampant corruption and deception prevalent in the organization. Almost four decades later he recounts, in an eye-opening first-hand account, the unimaginable isolation and sense of ignominy faced by those who were falsely implicated.

The book is a sincere product of years spent on careful study and documenting of the case from an insider’s perspective and exposes the pitfalls of the intra-court system and the incompetence of the army courts in handling such a case with sense and sensitivity. Major Ajwani argues with the aid of nuanced details, bolstering his arguments with hardcore facts, and a steadfast sense of responsibility towards extracting justice for each soldier who had been wronged by the juggernaut of betrayal and deceit set up by the MI authorities. It leaves the reader with a “brooding sense of injustice” and implores that one must keep speaking up against injustice in order to let the generations know, and never forget, that justice had been miscarried.

May 3, 2017

À propos de l'auteur

Major Ajwani belongs to a Sindhi Family from Hyderabad, Sindh, now in Pakistan. His entire family migrated to Ahmadabad in January 1948 and settled down there. After obtaining a degree each in B. Com and LL.B from Gujarat University, Major Ajwani joined Sales Tax Deptt as an Inspector in 1959. In 1964, he joined Indian Military Academy at Dehradun for grant of Emergency Commission in the Army from where he passed out as a 2nd Lt. on 04/10/1964 in the Regiment of Artillery. After taking part in Indo Pak war in 1965, he was transferred to the legal branch at Bengal Area, Calcutta in March 1968. In December 1970 he was transferred to the Judge Advocate General’s branch and transferred to HQ Western Command Shiwla as a Judge Advocate (with Major’s rank). After having served as a Judge Advocate up to March 1980, he was released from service. After his release from Army, Major Ajwani started his own venture as a Security Service Contractor in 1980 which he is running even today. He is married to Mandakini and has a son and a daughter (Ashish & Gayatri)who are happily married.

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The False Spy - Nirmal Ajwani

The False Spy

True life story of Major N. R. Ajwani (Retd.)

The author Nirmal R Ajwani carries the burden of being accused wrongly in what came to be infamously known as The Samba Spy Case. This book is an effort to right that wrong. He has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information contained in this book, backed with documents. The intention is not to hurt sentiments but to clear his name and those of others who were named in The Samba Spy Case. Any error may be brought to the authors attention accompanied with proof. Those interested in knowing, interviewing, using extracts, filming the events mentioned in this book, may contact him on the following email: nirmalajwani50@gmail.com

The False Spy

True life story of Major N. R. Ajwani (Retd.)

Nirmal Ramchand Ajwani

Judge Advocate, Indian Army


Published in India by Nirmal Ramchand Ajwani, 2017




Copyright © Nirmal Ramchand Ajwani

ISBN Print Book - 978-93-5268-197-6

ISBN eBook – 978-93-86407-30-6

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system—except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or on the Web—without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Printed by

Thompson Press (I) Ltd

B-315, Okhla Industrail Area,

Phase 1

New Delhi- 110020

Publishing Support Provided by

Zorba Books Pvt. Ltd.(opc)

Sushant Arcade

Sushant Lok 1

Gurgaon, INDIA

Website: www.zorbabooks.com

Email: info@zorbabooks.com

This book is dedicated to the following people who

had the courage to stand up and be counted

1. Brigadier K. B. Nair, Judge Advocate General, who was forthright in telling General O. P. Malhotra in 1979–1980 that the Samba spy case was a false case. He had to face the wrath of the General who insisted on going ahead with the case at any cost.

2. Col. V. K. K. Nair of the ASC, who was specially picked by MI Directorate to record a Summary of Evidence (S of E) against me in 1979. After recording the S of E, he was instructed by Brigadier Garewal of MI Directorate to act as prosecutor at my Court Martial, but he refused to do so. This was followed by a threat from Brigadier Garewal spelling out dire consequences for Col. Nair. He promptly asked for an interview with General O. P. Malhotra. During his interview, Col. Nair advised the General not to hold my trial as I was innocent. However, he was apprised by the General that a trial had already been ordered and he was commanded to proceed to Deolali where I was to be tried. He was also instructed to send daily updates to the General on a direct line regarding the progress of my trial by General Court Martial. It was Col. Nair who ultimately advised the General to stop my trial. This was done in view of the event that Major Rana – who had been taken from Delhi to Deolali to be examined as a witness at my trial – had refused to depose falsely. He had claimed that he was tortured to falsely implicate Major Ajwani who was innocent, and that the Samba spy case was a fraud. My trial was then adjourned sine die, and thereafter dissolved.

3. Shri V. K. Kaul of the IB who wrote a letter to the Indian Express on 23rd November 1994 exposing the Samba case. He was the investigating officer in 1979 and had interrogated Major Rana and Major Rathaur using lie detectors for four to five days. He had then declared both officers completely innocent and Samba spy case a big fraud.

4. Shri T. V. Rajeswar, Padma Vibhushan, who was the director of the IB, and who wrote an article in Indian Express on 4th December 1979 titled Spies, They Were Not and clarified in no uncertain terms that the whole case was fabricated.

5. Major A. K. Rana, a very good friend of mine, who refused to tell lies at my trial.

6. Lance Naik Mahabir Sihag, a simple sepoy who was performing the duties of a driver to Major A. K. Rana’s official vehicle at Samba Brigade. He was tortured to falsely implicate me and Rana. He eventually spilled the beans when called as a witness at recording of the S of E by Col. V. K. K. Nair. For his refusal to support MI Directorate in the fake Samba case, he was summarily dismissed under Army Rule 17.

7. Shri Dibang, Smt. Coomi Kapoor, Arnab Goswami and a host of several media reporters who gave us a lot of publicity in informing the world what a sham this case was.

Not to Scale


Introduction to The Fake Samba Spy Case 1

The Samba Spy Case – A Case of Egregious Injustice

The Samba Spy Case – An Introduction - 2

My Brush with The Army

Gunnery Ceases and Advocacy Begins

Judicial Terrorism, Army Style and Divine Will

My Date with Destiny

The Samba Espionage Case

My Arrest and Trial

Justice Done At Last

Main Findings of the Delhi HC and the Supreme Court

Hearing in the Supreme Court

Back Room Maneuvers, post 18th January 2013 Hearing

Rehearing of a Case after Reference

The Judgement

The Judgement - Discussed

In the Aftermath of the Supreme Court Judgement



Fair And Impartial Justice And Synopsis of the case

The Last Word


Introduction to The Fake Samba Spy Case 1

Ex. Capt S. R. Nagial

I was approached by Major Ajwani, former Judge Advocate, Army to write about the fake Samba Spy Case as he was publishing a book on whole FAKE SAMBA SPY DRAMA of 1975 – 80 of which I was the first VICTIM. He convinced me that I was the right person to disclose what had happened in my case & how I was falsely implicated as the world must know the TRUTH which has been suppressed by all and sundry, including Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

I, therefore, agreed to pen an INTRODUCTION to his forthcoming launch of his book on Samba Spy Scandal.

I have been in touch with Major Ajwani Since 1986 – 87 as he has taken upon himself the task of exposing the whole fraud on which a lid has been dropped even by Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated 06/03/2014 which I have gone through carefully. I have known virtually all the legal developments in this case through Major Ajwani and Capt R. S. Rathaur.

In this matter I had even written a letter to Defence Ministry (Shri Praveen Kumar, Director AGI, Sena Bhavan on 20/08/2015) which I am reproducing verbatim for the readers of this book to know from the horse’s mouth how, why and by whom I was falsely implicated and the aftermath.

Before I do this, I would like to disclose one more vital fact about Capt Rathaur’s false implication. Capt Rathaurs false implication was planned by MI Dte officers by using my name alongwith Aya Singh’s name.

The allegation of MI Dte authorities was that I had tricked Capt Rathaur across the border after making him to drink a little too much and then putting him in a taxi alongwith Aya Singh sometime in the end of July 74 or 1st Week of August 74.

These dates were planned as I had been implicated by Aya Singh who deposed that he had taken me across on 17th July 74. This allegation was made by Aya Singh in July / August 75 on the basis of which I was arrested on 14/9/75, tortured and tried by a GCM in early 1976. Details of this were given by me in my afore said letter.

However, I was ACQUITTED of this charge by the GCM as AYA SINGH’S story did not appeal to the Court Martial Members.

It is because of this acquittal, I was not examined as a witness in Capt Rathaur’s trial in 1979 by prosecution which knew that I will not Support them. They still depended on the false, tutored testimony of Aya Singh who was used to Falsely Implicate Capt Rathaur. And they added the name of Sarwan Das out of nowhere as he was in Jammu Jail at the relevant time.

At the trial of Capt Rathaur, I was examined as a Defence witness by Capt Rathaur who was defended by Advocate R. P. Sethi of Jammu who later on rose to be a Supreme Court Judge.

I demolished the prosecution case by deposing that Rathaur was never taken by me across to Pakistan in July / August 1974 as alleged by prosecution. I also clearly testified that the story of prosecution allegation that Aya Singh had accompanied us was also false. I had also testified in that trial that I had been acquitted of the said allegation by the GCM which tried me in 1976.

Yet, poor Rathaur was convicted and sent to jail on false charges, without any evidence as I was convicted without proof of imaginary charges. All these developments clearly prove that the said trials were by KANGAROO Courts Martial who were acting on orders without doubt.

Now please read my letter dated 20/08/2015.

Capt S. R. Nagial

House No – 125, Shastri Nagar,

Post Office – Gandhi Nagar,

Jammu (J & K) 180004

Tel No – 09419188985, 01912432028

Date : 20/08/2015


Shri Praveen Kumar

Director AGI

Room No – 103, B – Wing

Sena Bhavan, DHQ

New Delhi – 110001


Sub : Open Letter dated 04/06/2015 To Hon’ble President of India by Major N. R. Ajwani & Major Rana.

1. This refers to aforesaid letter & subsequent correspondence thereto referring the case to you for proper assessment.

2. Sir, the undersigned (Capt S. R. Nagial) was the first officer victim, first casualty after the arrest of Gunner Aya Singh.


A. i) I was a soldier in Dogra Regt. I successfully passed my courses at Army cadet School, Pune followed by one and half years training at IMA Dehradun. I was then commis sioned as an officer in 1969 in Punjab Regt.

ii) Capt Rathaur & Capt Rana were also soldiers & they were also like – wise promoted as officers from AC Pune & IMA Dehradun at about the same time and I knew them as trainee cadets.

iii) After a few years training, I was posted as Instructor at Counter Insurgency and Jungle warfare school,

iv) Sometime in 1973/74, I was posted to HQ 16 corps as GSO3 (Intelligence). My immediate superior was Major S. C. Jolly as GSO2(Int)

v) At about the same time Capt Rathaur was posted as Intelligence officer (IO) at 168 Inf Bde, Samba, J & K

B. i) I belong to Manwal area, near Udhampur, J & K.

ii) Gunner Aya Singh was married to my niece Bachno Devi. Bachno Devi’s mother was my sister and she died at a young age & Bachno Devi was brought up by me.

iii) Thus Aya Singh was virtually my son – in – law & he was also living in Manwal Refugee camp after 1971 Indo Pak war.

iv) Bachno Devi was not having cordial relations with Aya Singh because of his nefarious activities.

C) i) Sometime in mid – 1975, I received an interrogation Report from JT Interrogation Centre, Jammu. On reading the same in my official capacity, I learnt that Aya Singh had been arrested & interrogated at JIC, Jammu where he confessed in writing that he & one Gunner Sarwan Das of his Regt were involved in espionage activities. I didn’t know SARWAN DAS.

ii) I was completely alarmed. Aya Singh’s arrest & Interrogation had been kept a closely guarded SECRET by authorities and I did not know this development till I read the IR in 1975.

iii) Pursuant to this report, I informed my niece, Bachno Devi and Aya Singh’s parents in MANWAL CAMP about Aya Singh’s involvement.

All this while Bachno Devi was living alone in a tented accommodation in Manwal Camp and the Commandant of that camp had passed orders for separate Rations to Bachno Devi.


D) i) After his interrogation at JIC Jammu, he was handed over to Army authorities at 26 Inf Div, Jammu & was detained in a Inf Battation quarter guard (cell) at Kalu Chak, Jammu for processing his case under AA.

ii) While detained at Jammu, he was visited by his brother Gurdayal Singh after I informed his father about his involvement. AYA SINGH deputed Gurdayal Singh to see me at Nagrota or nearby to request me to help Aya Singh in the matter.

I refused to oblige as Aya Singh was involved in a very serious offence of espionage.

iii) This was not taken kindly by Aya Singh who in a fit to teach me a lesson, made a false accusation against me to his commanding officer that I was also involved in a case of spying through him.

As such there were hardly any cordial relations between me & him due to his strained relations with Bachno Devi.

iv) Pursuant to his false complaint, authorities at HQ Northern Command w/o ascertaining the correctness or otherwise of the complaint arrested me on 14/09/1976 and detained me in Delhi cantt and then at Dharamsala, near YOL under 39 Inf Division (H. P.)

v) I was subjected to grueling interrogation followed by torture by officers of MIL Dte, HQ Northern Command.

During interrogation and torture I was made to sign some papers.


i) All this while, Sarwan Das was in Pakistan as I learnt from evidence. I was tried on the statement of Aya Singh who alleged that he had taken me to Pakistan in Mid July 1974 where I met Major Khan of Pak FIU whom I was alleged to have given some info on a piece of paper for which I was paid off, etc & thus I was registered as an Agent.

ii) Aya Singh had also testified that he had kept his mentor Sarwan Das informed about my being involved in spying activities.

iii) In the mean while, Sarwan Das returned from Pakistan on 9/10 th Feb 1976 & was interrogated Jt Int Centre where he admitted his & Aya Singh’s involvement. NO ONE ELSE WAS IMPLICATED BY HIM.

iv) Pursuant to Aya Singh’s testimony, Sarwan Das was examined as a prosecution witness. During his detailed testimony he clearly stated that he was never informed of Aya Singh having taken me to Pakistan as testified by Aya Singh.


v) Three charges were leveled at trial (a) 1 st handing over to Aya Singh some info on a piece of paper to be given to Pak authorities (b) going to Pakistan during July 1974 with Aya Singh (3) Not informing authorities about the activities of Aya Singh.

vi) At the end of the trial I was ACQUTTED OF the 2 nd charge of having gone to Pakistan as testified by Aya Singh.

Yet, despite the clear testimony, I was convicted of the 1st and 3rd minor charges, without any evidence at all and awarded 07 yrs RI & CASHIERING (ie. Dismissal from service)

vii) It is rather surprising that after disbelieving Aya Singh’s version of my having gone to Pakistan as charged, how could the other two charges stick?

viii) All my pleas, petitions before authorities & High Court at H. P. failed to bring any fruit.

Thus on a charge connected with SPYING, no authority, no court was prepared to hear me – Evidence or NO Evidence you are just FIXED.


i) I was sent to Jammu Jail where I completed my 07 yrs term sometime in 1983 or so My career. My family life were in tatters. My whole family was devastated.

ii) Later on sometime in 1976 – 77, Sep Ajit Singh, related to me, was also falsely implicated by Aya Singh and sent to jail in a bid to fix my whole family & friends.

iii) In 1977 or so my niece died after she committed suicide in her tented accommodation as by then she had suffered enough privation & humiliation particularly after knowing that Aya Singh was a SPY.

iv) This incident of suicide was converted into a case of MURDER by family members of Aya Singh who filed a false complaint in 1977 in Jammu & got my father – in – law, my brother & a blind neighbor arrested.

v) The case was heard at length and the Chief Judicial Magistrate was pleased to dismiss the case, being w/o any merit vide Chalan No – 112/77 dated 26/10/1977.

vi) Major Ajwani spoke to me telephonically about this matter, after Hon’ble SC recorded and accepted a fake plea that Aya Singh was threatened that his wife would be killed if he disclosed Capt Rathaur’s involvement!!! I not only clarified that it was a case of suicide by my niece but it was a case of VENGEANCE ALSO against my family & friends.

I would like to clarify here that Singha Ram’s name mentioned in the CJ Magistrates order refers to AYA SINGH as he was known by that name in his family. I was able to send this judgment to Major Ajwani to satisfy his enquiries.

I am told this judgment was given to Hon’ble SC larger bench by Advocate Mrs Suri in 2014 but was ignored.

E) This clearly shows that whatever is stated by the accused / victims of espionage cases is thrown in nearest gutter and whatever is stated by UOI’s advocates – even lies & false statements – are lapped up with both hands and incorporated in Courts orders / judgments – even by the honourable Supreme Court as Gospel Truth.

This is judicial administration at its BEST and MOST SIMPLIFIED where it is not necessary for Hon’ble Judges to use their judicially trained minds and their MENTAL FACULTIES. JUST CONVICT.

Thus, I was dumped in the nearest GUTTER as were other victims who were later on to suffer same fate (like me) in the years to come.


i) While I was in Jammu Jail upto 1983 or so, Sarwan Das also landed as a prisoner in 1978 after his conviction for DESERTION. While I was in class ‘A’ section, Sarwan Das was a class ‘C’ prisoner. However, when we met in Jail initially we recognized each other & I learnt from him why he was there.

ii) During the stay of Sarwan Das, I had learnt from him and confirmed by Jail staff (who had become my friends by then) that Capt Sudhir & Major Jolly had visited him on a number

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