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Innocent Admission

ISRO Spy Case: More trouble for ex-Kerala DGP as 2 Maldivian women move court

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 7, 2021-
If former Kerala top cop Siby Mathews believed that life after retirement would be peaceful, he was in for a shock on Wednesday.

After the apex court decided to ask for a fresh CBI probe into the infamous ISRO spy case, 18 officials who were then serving in the Kerala Police and the Intelligence Bureau started moving local courts for anticipatory bail.

On Wednesday, Mathews’ bail plea hit a road bump when two Maldivian women, who were also accused in the case, filed an impleading petition seeking to be heard. The local court considering the bail plea posted the hearing for Monday.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when S. Nambi Narayanan, who was then a top ISRO scientist, was arrested on the charge of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, the two Maldivian women and a businessman.

In his bail application, Mathews said there was a spy network in the state capital, as was evident from the statements given by the Maldivian women, Mariam Rasheeda and Fouzia Hassan.

Mathews also blamed the then IB official R.B. Sreekumar for pressuring him to arrest Narayanan and the two women.

The former Kerala top cop took voluntary retirement from the post of DGP a decade ago and then served a five-year term as Chief Information Commissioner before retiring and settling down in Thiruvananthapuram.

Last week, the CBI registered an FIR with the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court against 18 people, including top former Kerala police and IB officials, who have been charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

Life changed for Nambi Narayanan after the Supreme Court last year appointed a three-member committee headed by a retired judge, Justice D.K. Jain, to probe if there was a conspiracy hatched by the officials probing the case to falsely implicate the scientist.

On the directions of the apex court, the CBI team arrived last week to investigate the conspiracy angle.

The CBI had freed Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against Mathews and other officials who had probed the case and falsely implicated him.

Narayanan has received a compensation of Rs 1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government, which paid him Rs 1.3 crore in 2020 and later awarded him Rs 50 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakh ordered by the National Human Rights Commission.

The compensation was paid because the former ISRO scientist had suffered wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation. (Agency)

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