Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 13 (IANS) The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to former Gujarat Director General of Police R.B. Sreekumar and three others in the ISRO spy case which has been reopened following the new proceedings initiated by the CBI.
Sreekumar’s role in the case was as deputy director of the Intelligence Bureau. His then colleague P.S.Jayaprakash and two former Kerala Police officials S. Vijayan and Thampi S. Durgadutt who had all secured interim bail before, got anticipatory bail on Friday.
Vijayan and Durgadutt are the first and second accused in a new FIR registered with the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court by the CBI in June.
In this FIR 18 people, including former top Kerala police and IB officials, have been charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.
This case first surfaced in the mid nineties, but things changed for the victim S. Nambi Narayanan, a former ISRO scientist, after numerous long-drawn court battles when the Supreme Court in 2020 appointed a three-member committee headed by retired judge Justice D.K. Jain to probe if there was a conspiracy among the then police officials to falsely implicate Narayanan.
On June 28, a new team of the CBI (Delhi Special Unit) arrived in the state capital to try to unravel the ISRO spy case and will look from a different angle if there was any conspiracy on the part of the probe teams of the Kerala Police and the IB.
When the then police and IB officials sensed that the new CBI team has already started their probe and might even arrest some of them, they approached the court seeking bail.
The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when Nambi Narayanan was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, two Maldivian women and a businessman.
The CBI freed Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against all the officials who probed the case and falsely implicated him.
Narayanan has now received a compensation of Rs 1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government which in 2020 paid him Rs 1.3 crore and later awarded Rs 50 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakh as directed by the National Human Rights Commission.
The compensation was because the former ISRO scientist had to suffer wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.