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ISRO Espionage Case: Kerala High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Former Gujarat DGP Sreekumar, 3 Others

Hannah M Varghese
13 Aug 2021 6:36 AM GMT
ISRO Espionage Case: Kerala High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Former Gujarat DGP Sreekumar, 3 Others
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The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar, two former Kerala Police officers S. Vijayan and Thampi S. Durga, and a retired IB official PS Jayaprakash in the ISRO espionage case. A Single Bench of Justice Ashok Menon pronounced the orders today. The espionage case, which had hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations...

The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar, two former Kerala Police officers S. Vijayan and Thampi S. Durga, and a retired IB official PS Jayaprakash in the ISRO espionage case. 

A Single Bench of Justice Ashok Menon pronounced the orders today. 

The espionage case, which had hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.

The case had caught attention in October 1994, when Maldivian national Rasheeda was arrested in Thiruvananthapuram for allegedly obtaining secret drawings of ISRO rocket engines to sell to Pakistan.

Narayanan, the then director of the cryogenic project at ISRO, was arrested along with the then ISRO Deputy Director D Sasikumaran, and Fousiya Hasan, a Maldivian friend of Rasheeda. 

The 79-year-old former scientist was later given a clean chit by the CBI after a thorough investigation. He then approached seeking legal action against the Intelligence and Kerala Police officers who had a hand in implicating him in the espionage case. However, this was dismissed on the ground that no action was required to be taken against them. 

Therefore, he moved the Apex Court against the High Court's order. It accepted Narayanan's plea that the authorities, who were responsible for causing such a 'harrowing effect' on his mind, should face 'legal consequences'.

Therefore, apart from directing the State to cough up a compensation worth 50 lakhs to Narayanan, the Apex Court appointed an enquiry commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice DK Jain on September 14, 2018 to probe the angle of a larger conspiracy in fabricating the espionage case against the former scientist.

Over a period of almost two-and-a-half years, the panel headed by Justice Jain examined the circumstances leading to the arrest. The three-member investigation panel submitted its report in a sealed cover to the apex court earlier this year. 

Thereafter, the Supreme Court directed the CBI to conduct a probe and decide on further action based on the contents of the enquiry report. 

At this juncture, the CBI charged 18 former police and Intelligence Bureau officials with several allegations of implicating Narayanan and subjecting him to custodial torture. 

Several of these former officers thereby approached the Court seeking anticipatory bail. Over the course of two months, the Court granted them interim relief. Meanwhile, the two Maldivian nationals who were implicated in the matter had also moved an impleading petition in the Court opposing the bail pleas. 

For detailed report about the order : ISRO Espionage Case - Concerns Of Kerala Police At That Stage Can't Be Said To Be Without Any Basis : Kerala High Court





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