SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT:
By administering the Oath to Secrecy, Government of India has ensured that I keep my affiliation with Special Frontier Force for my entire lifetime. My affiliation with Indian Army was prematurely terminated when I was forced to relinquish my Permanent Regular Commission and Government of India accepted my letter of resignation from Service with effect from January 10, 1984. However, my commitment to support the mission of Special Frontier Force is alive because of a ‘Declaration’ that Government of India obtained from me which assigns specific responsibilities for preserving India’s friendly relations with foreign states.
THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT OF 1923:
The Official Secrets Act 1923, extends to the whole of India and applies to servants of the Government and to citizens living in India or outside India. The disclosure of any information that is likely to affect friendly relations with foreign states is punishable by this Act. There are penalties for wrongful communication of information. The individuals who have an obligation not to disclose certain kinds of information are often required to sign an affidavit or solemn declaration that they would abide by the Law without any time limits. The Law can be used to punish the individuals for wrongful communication during any part of their lifetime. The Law and the declaration, the signed affidavit impose specific duties and responsibilities on those specific individuals. Other citizens who may not have signed any affidavit or declaration could still be subject to the provisions of the Law but they may not share the responsibilities imposed on the group of specific individuals who are required by the Government to sign the affidavit or declaration.
THE SIGNING OF AFFIDAVIT/DECLARATION AT SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE:
I joined duty at Special Frontier Force on September 22, 1971 after I attended the Basic Medical Officers’ Course( Number 20/70) at The Officers Training School, AMC Centre, Lucknow( from July to September 1970) and on completion of my Medical Internship training at Military Hospital, Ambala. At Headquarters Establishment Number. 22, C/O 56 APO, I was asked to read The Official Secrets Act 1923, Act XIX and I signed an agreement as required by Government of India’s administrative policy and guidelines. This agreement is legally binding and I am required to abide by its terms and conditions for the rest of my lifetime. In other words, I may state that I retain a lifetime commitment and that my affiliation with Special Frontier Force will endure as long as I live.
I have my individual rights to describe my life and my personal accomplishments. I fully retain my right to describe my participation in military actions specially when my role is duly recognized by my superior Officers and when I have the duty to describe the role to give the benefit of my Service Experience to all the present and future members of Indian Armed Forces. I earned this Right for I had served with total dedication to my duty without any concern about my personal safety.
Having served in the military organization called Special Frontier Force and because of my commitment to keep this relationship alive, I continue to promote India’s friendly relations with Tibet and foreign states such as The United States of America. India’s friendly relations with Tibet and the US should not damage India’s friendly relations with other foreign states. What may damage India’s friendly relations with foreign states could be the unnatural condition called occupation. Freedom is the natural condition that prevails in the Free World. Hence, military occupation has to be acknowledged as a lie for it is the opposite of the truth called Natural Freedom. I need not make any special effort to conceal the information about Tibet’s military occupation. I have not signed any affidavit, agreement, or declaration that I will keep the fact of Tibet’s military occupation as an Official Secret. The Official Secrets Act restricts the wrongful sharing of information. The information about Tibet’s occupation is not a State Secret. It cannot be a Secret for India has open, friendly relations with Tibet.