Kerala

ISRO espionage case: Kerala High Court tells CBI not to arrest former Gujarat DGP till August 2

Gujarat ex-DGP R.B. Sreekumar. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the CBI not to arrest till August 2 former Gujarat DGP R.B. Sreekumar, one of the accused in the espionage case related to hatching a conspiracy to frame former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan.

Justice K. Haripal passed the order on an anticipatory bail petition moved by Mr. Sreekumar. The court also ordered that the petition be tagged with other anticipatory bail petitions filed by two former Kerala Police officers and a former IB official, which had been posted for hearing on August 2.

The Gujarat High Court had earlier ordered the CBI not to arrest him till July 29 on a petition filed by the former top cop seeking temporary transit bail until he obtained anticipatory bail from the court concerned in Kerala.

Serious matter

Opposing the bail petition, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju, appearing for the CBI, argued that the case was a serious matter involving national security. The false case was foisted on the two leading scientists at the behest of the ISI. The CBI strongly believed that Pakistan was involved in the case. It was done to derail the ISRO's programme to develop a cryogenic engine. The scientists were arrested, humiliated and tortured and not allowed to carry out the works on the programme, he argued.

The Supreme Court-appointed committee found that the petitioner was responsible for cooking up false charges against the former ISRO scientists. He was part of the conspiracy to derail the ISRO programme. If the petitioner was granted bail, it would drastically affect the investigation, he argued.

Senior Counsel for the petitioner S. Sreekumar submitted that the petitioner, who was working as Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau, Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) at Thiruvananthapuram at that time, had not interrogated Mr. Narayanan. It was at the request of the Kerala Police that the Director of Intelligence Bureau had deputed IB officers, including the petitioner, for assisting the police in its investigation in the case, Mr. Raju argued.

Nor there was any allegation by Mr. Narayanan that the petitioner had harassed him. The petitioner had only been tasked with the job of interrogating another former ISRO scientist, D. Sasikumaran. He had only obeyed the orders of his superior officers. The petitioner was even exonerated by the Union Home Ministry in the departmental proceedings initiated after the CBI filed the final report saying that it was a false case, he argued.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:38:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/isro-espionage-case-kerala-high-court-tells-cbi-not-to-arrest-former-gujarat-dgp-till-august-2/article35608838.ece

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