In ISRO spy case, top court sets aside Kerala HC order on pre-arrest bail for 5

Published on Dec 02, 2022 11:01 AM IST

The 1994 spy case pertains to alleged framing of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan.

The Supreme Court of India. (ANI)
The Supreme Court of India. (ANI)
By | Reported by Abraham Thomas | Edited by Swati Bhasin

In the ISRO spy case, the Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Kerala High Court order on pre-arrest bail for five accused, including a former top cop. The 1994 espionage case involves the alleged framing of former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan. The top court has asked the high court in the southern state to decide their bail plea afresh within four weeks. The accused won't be arrested in the interim period for five weeks, it has been noted.

The scientist was wrongly accused of selling crucial secrets associated with the country's space technology to Pakistan in 1994. While he was later acquitted by a CBI court and the Supreme Court in 1998, he had spent a total of 50 days in jail along with fellow scientist D Sasikumar and four others. In 2018, he was compensated Rs. 50 lakh by the Supreme Court for “unnecessary arrest, harassment and mental cruelty”.

In 2020, the Kerala government had also handed over an additional compensation of 1.30 crore to the former scientist in the case, which has also been at the centre of several political standoffs.

In the same year, in June, the CBI had booked former Intelligence Bureau (IB) deputy director RB Sreekumar and 16 other police personnel over the alleged conspiracy. Former Kerala Police officer S Vijayan - among over a dozen accused - had filed a plea last year in the Kerala HC in the case. In his plea before the high court in July 2021, the former police officer alleged that Narayanan had influenced the CBI probe by entering into land deals worth crores with the then investigating officials of the agency. Months later, in November, the high court had dismissed the petition.

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