Espionage Case: SC To Hear Ex-ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan’s Appeal On Monday

Espionage Case: SC To Hear Ex-ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan’s Appeal On Monday

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court will hear former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan’s appeal against Kerala High Court order in the infamous ISRO espionage case on Monday.

In July 2015, the Supreme Court had issued notice in the case. Narayanan approached the Supreme Court seeking action against Siby Mathew (former DGP and present Chief Information Commissioner, Kerala), and two retired Superintendents of Police KK Joshua and S Vijayan, who implicated him in the espionage case.

The appeal is filed against the judgment of Kerala High Court division bench, which set aside a single judge judgment by which an order of the Kerala Government (G.O. (Rt) No. 1923/2011/Home dated 29.06.2011) was quashed.

By issuing the above order, the Kerala Government decided not to take any action against the above named police officers.

Nambi Narayanan, while functioning as scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation, was arrested on November 30, 1994, alleging espionage. Later, the investigation was transferred to the CBI.

The central agency, after investigation, holding that the case instituted against Narayanan was false, filed its report recommending closure of the case. The chief judicial magistrate accepted the closure report.

In the closure report, the CBI spelt out various serious lapses on the part of the earlier investigation team and itemised such lapses in respect of each of the officer and recommended action against the said officers. The Kerala Government then issued a notification dated June 27, 1996, and directed further investigation in the case by the first investigation team.

This action of the state was challenged by Narayanan before Kerala High Court, which had upheld the notification, consequent to which Narayanan approached the Supreme Court. The apex court allowed the criminal appeal (492/1997), vide judgment dated 29-04-1998, and quashed the notification.

The state government issued an order for closing the case. The order was challenged by Nambi Narayanan before Kerala High Court and a single judge had, allowed the petition and directed the state to take action against the three investigating officers and complete the proceedings within three months.

The above order was challenged by Siby Mathew, head of the first investigation team, before the division bench, which quashed the single bench order.

Though the matter was listed for hearing on Monday, the counsel for the Respondent No.1(Siby Mathew) Advocate Venkita Subramonian has circulated a letter seeking four weeks time to file counter affidavit.

But Counsel for Nambi Narayanan. Advocate C. Unnikrishnan told LiveLaw that he would press for hearing as it is a twenty year old case.

Read the petition here.


This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.