ISRO spy case: HC grants former cops advance bail

PTI | Kochi | Updated: 20-01-2023 18:39 IST | Created: 20-01-2023 18:27 IST
ISRO spy case: HC grants former cops advance bail
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to four people, including a former Director General of Police (DGP), in connection with the 1994 ISRO espionage case.

The Supreme Court on December 2 last year quashed the Kerala High Court order granting the anticipatory bail to the accused and remanded the matter back to the High Court and directed it to decide the issue within four weeks.

Justice K Babu, while granting the anticipatory bail, directed them to appear before the investigating officer on January 27.

The High Court directed the investigating agency to grant them bail in case the accused were arrested on that day and asked the accused to appear before the sleuths every Monday and Friday for the next two weeks after that.

The court banned the accused also from travelling abroad and granted bail on sureties worth Rs one lakh. The apex court had directed the High Court to decide the petitions ''afresh on its own merits.'' The Supreme Court directive came on the CBI's appeal against the High Court order granting bail to former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar, two former police officers of Kerala S Vijayan and Thampi S Durga Dutt, and a retired intelligence official P S Jayaprakash.

Sreekumar was then the Deputy Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The top court, in November last year, issued notice on the CBI's plea filed in the matter.

The agency had said its probe found out that some scientists were tortured and framed in the espionage case due to which the development of cryogenic engine was hit thereby sending back India's space programme by almost one or two decades.

The CBI earlier alleged that there was a clear indication that the accused were part of a team which had ulterior motives to torpedo the attempts of the ISRO for manufacturing the cryogenic engine.

The CBI had registered a case against 18 people for various offences, including criminal conspiracy, in connection with the arrest and detention of scientist Nambi Narayanan in the espionage case.

The case, which had hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.

Nambi Narayanan, who was given a clean chit by the CBI, had earlier alleged that the Kerala police had fabricated the case and the technology he was accused to have stolen and sold in the 1994 case did not even exist at that time.

The CBI had said the then top police officials in Kerala were responsible for Narayanan's illegal arrest. The apex court, on September 14, 2018, appointed a three-member committee while directing the Kerala government to cough up a Rs 50 lakh as compensation for compelling Narayanan to undergo “immense humiliation.”

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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