CBI closure report in ISRO case back in focus

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) espionage probe from the Kerala Police, had concluded that the allegations of espionage were not proved and found to be false.

The closure report, which was filed by R. S. Dhankar, Dy. Superiendent of Police (CBI/SIC.II), New Delhi, on April 30, 1996, attains significance in the wake of the Supreme Court asking the CBI last week to look into the D.K. Jain committee report on the alleged framing of space scientists Nambi Narayanan and others by the former police officials in the espionage case.

Besides debunking the espionage theory in its closure report filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Ernakulam, the CBI had also listed out the errors committed by three police officers, Siby Mathews, K. K. Joshua, and S. Vijayan during the course of the investigation.

The case

The infamous ISRO espionage case has its genesis in a case registered at Vanchiyoor Police station on November 13, 1994. Mr. Vijayan, who was the then inspector of the Special Branch, booked a case against Fauzia Hassan and Mariyam Rasheeda for violating the provisions of the Official Secrets Act.

In his written complaint, Mr. Vijayan stated that it was prima-facie indicated that Ms. Hassan and Ms. Rasheeda, in collusion with some others, took part in the activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and harmful for the cordial relations between India and its neighbours.

Besides the two women and Mr. Narayanan, D. Sasikumaran, K. Chandrasekhar and Sudhir Kumar Sharma were also arrested in the case.

The CBI took over the investigation in December 4, 1994.

In its report, the CBI noted that the accused, when confronted with their statements to the Kerala police, stated that the statements were made under duress on suggested lines.

The CBI reported that no evidence came on record indicating that the accused indulged in espionage by passing on of secret documents of ISRO or of any defence establishments and no incriminating documents could be recovered.

It concluded that the statements of the accused recorded by the Kerala Police and the IB were mutually contradictory within themselves. In spite of the contradictions, the investigation was carried out presuming that the alleged disclosures made by accused were true and was treated as the basis for further investigation, the closure report concluded.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 10:55:33 PM |

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