Charges the BJP leaders with conspiracy to harm his reputation

The former Gujarat IPS officer R.B. Sreekumar on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation complaint against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, party president Rajnath Singh, spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi and the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist S. Nambi Narayanan at the local Patiala House court for allegedly defaming him in the nearly two decade old ISRO espionage case.

According to the complaint by Mr. Sreekumar, the three senior leaders of the BJP allegedly entered into a conspiracy to defame and harm his reputation by digging out the old closed case of 1994.

Ms. Lekhi and Mr. Singh alleged that Mr. Sreekumar had played into the hands of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and had also called him ‘anti-national’ and ‘traitor’ and thereby harmed his reputation irreparably, the complaint said.

The complaint is likely to come up for hearing in a couple of days.

The ISRO espionage case dates back to 1994. The Kerala police had registered the case against Nambi Narayanan and D. Sasikumaran, another ISRO scientist, along with a couple of businessmen and two Maldivian women.

They were all accused of collectively stealing important documents from the ISRO office. However, the CBI had closed the case in 1996, finding it baseless. It also recommended departmental action against some officials of the Intelligence Bureau and the Special Investigation Team which probed the allegations.

According to Mr. Sreekumar’s complaint, Mr. Modi on September 9 this year met with Mr. Nambi Narayanan in Kerala and hatched a conspiracy to defame him. Thereafter Mr. Rajnath Singh and Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi were also involved in the conspiracy and finally a plan was prepared to harm his reputation, he alleged.

As per the complaint, the false allegation against Mr. Sreekumar was that while he was serving in Central Intelligence Bureau as Dy. Director (DD) in Thiruvananthapuram (1992-1995), Mr. Nambi Narayanan, a scientist in Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was falsely implicated by him in the case and later the CBI investigators found Mr. Narayanan along with others to be innocent.

The Court had ordered the Kerala government to pay compensation to Mr. Narayanan.

Mr. Sreekumar has also alleged that Mr. Singh, in a press conference organised this year by BJP, had claimed that though the CBI recommended action against him and other IB officials and Kerala police officers, the UPA government (2004-09) had exonerated them without an enquiry.

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