ISRO 1994 espionage case: Centre moves SC seeking urgent hearing, matter to be heard next week

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday requested the Supreme Court to take on record the sealed cover report of former top court judge Justice D K Jain in the Isro espionage case and to take action against the erring officials who tried to frame scientist Nambi Narayanan.

The report was submitted after the Supreme Court in 2018 had held that prosecution initiated by the Kerala police against Narayanan in the mid 1990s in the Isro espionage case was malicious and had caused tremendous harassment to him. The court had ordered a compensation of `50 lakh to Naryanan and also constituted the panel to ascertain whether action needs to be taken against erring police officials.

Following inquiry, the committee had submitted its report to the court in a sealed cover few days ago. The court is likely to hear the case next week.Narayanan was in charge of the Isro’s cryogenics division. In 1994, he was falsely accused of leaking defence secrets to enemy countries and arrested by the Kerala Police under the Official Secrets Act. He was later acquitted of all charges in 1998.

Narayanan had then moved against erring police officers who had framed the false case against him. He had accused the Kerala Police and the Intelligence Bureau of torturing him to extract confessions.The scientist had approached the Kerala High Court challenging the decision of the state to refrain from taking any action against erring police officers. After the Kerala High Court had turned down his plea, he moved the Supreme Court. While allowing the appeal and ordering him compensation in 2018, the top court had observed that Narayanan was needlessly arrested and tortured, which caused enormous mental trouble.

Meeting to appoint CBI director before May 2

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to consider holding a meeting of the selection committee for the appointment of a regular CBI director before May 2. “The in-charge arrangements for CBI director cannot go on,” Justice Nageswara Rao told Attorney General KK Venugopal after he said that the selection committee meeting was likely to take place on May 2. However, the bench told the government to hold it earlier and posted the matter for further hearing till Friday. Appearing on behalf of petitioner NGO Common Cause, advocate Prashant Bhushan accused the government of delaying the meeting of the high power committee as it wanted to bypass present Chief Justice of India S A Bobde who is retiring on April 23.