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Nambi Narayan fake espionage case: CBI names former Kerala top cop in FIR, arrests likely

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New Delhi, June 25: The Central Bureau of Investigation has named former Kerala Police chief Sibi Mathews and former Intelligence Bureau Deputy Director, R B Sreekumar in its FIR in connection with the ISRO espionage case in which scientist Nambi Narayanan was wrongly arrested.

The CBI FIR comes two months after the Supreme Court ordered the agency to investigate the ISRO espionage case. The FIR also names 16 other police personnel over the alleged conspiracy to frame Narayanan.

Nambi Narayan fake espionage case: CBI names former Kerala top cop in FIR

As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the agency has registered a case against 18 persons," CBI spokesman R C Joshi said. The accused policemen have been charged with framing of false evidence, conspiracy and illegal custody.

S Vijayan, former station inspector of Pettah station has been named as the first accused. Pettah station sub-inspector Thambi S Durgadath is the second accused., whole former city police commissioner V R Rajeevan is the third accused. Former DGP Sibi Mathews is the fourth accused, while former IB deputy director R B Sreekumar is the seventh accused.

The accused persons are likely to be called for questioning soon and sources tell OneIndia that post that there could be some arrests as well. Some of the accused persons are also in the process of filing anticipatory bail

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had on September 14 2018 appointed a three member panel headed by former judge, D K Jain to look into the case. The court had also ordered the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation to Narayanan for compelling him to undergo immense humiliation in the fake espionage case. The court ordered a CBI probe after the panel submitted its report. The court also directed the CBI to act against those officers involved in the fake espionage case.

Narayanan was wrongly accused of selling state secrets such as confidential test data of rocket and satellite launches. In 1994 he was arrested on espionage charges.

The 76-year-old former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan had filed an appeal against the judgement of division bench of the Kerala High Court which had said no action was required to be taken against the former DGP and two retired Superintendents of Police, K K Joshua and S Vijayan, who were held allegedly responsible by the CBI for his illegal arrest.

He said the division bench had "failed to appreciate the real undercurrent that passed through the mind of the SC, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the single judge of high court in their verdict and on untenable reasons, quashed the order of the single judge."

The Supreme Court had in 1998 granted compensation of Rs one lakh to Narayanan and others who were discharged in the case and directed the state government to pay the amount.

Later, Narayanan had approached NHRC claiming compensation against the state government for mental agony and torture suffered by him.

The NHRC, after hearing both sides and taking into account the apex court judgement of April 29, 1998 awarded an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh on March 14, 2001.

Challenging the legality of the high court's division bench order, he had said it was "bad in law" and sought an interim stay contending that "the illegality in the judgement impugned, if allowed to perpetuate, would only encourage the unlawful action and mindset on the part of the Kerala police to harass innocent persons for extraneous considerations.

"And unless action as suggested by the CBI is immediately taken, (possibly under the provisions of Section 195 of the IPC if for any justifiable reason departmental action could not be taken), the innocent public would suffer at the hands of the Police."

Narayanan had said it was hence "appropriate that the impugned judgement of March 4, 2015 of the High Court of Kerala... is stayed and the State Government initiate action as deemed necessary during the pendency of this SLP.

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