The Kerala High Court has nullified the Congress government’s decision to close down a file related to much controversial ISRO espionage case after considering a plea filed by the former scientist at the organization, Nambi Narayanan.
The Court rejected the Oommen Chandy government decision of 2012 not to take any action against the three police officials, who probed the case in 1994 asking the government to reconsider the decision. State Chief Information Commissioner and former Additional Director General of Police Siby Mathews and former police officers, including the then circle inspector (Special Branch) S. Vijayan and the then Superintendent of Police K.K. Joshua framed Narayanan, then a senior scientist at the organization. Narayanan had said in his petition that the CBI had sent a report to the government stating the lapses on the part of the officers probing the case. According to the report, Mathew had ordered the arrest of the scientists and the others without conducting a proper investigation or adequately verifying their disclosures. The CBI report also had said that the officers had not recovered any evidences from ISRO or the money allegedly paid to the accused by their foreign contacts.
The sensational spy case of 1994 also involved two Maldivian residents, Fousia and Mariam Rasheeda along with the senior ISRO scientists and a Bangalore based businessman. It surfaced in October 1994 and the next month, the accused were arrested in Thiruvananthapuram on charges of espionage. The case even saw the downfall of the then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran in 1995. The surfacing of the spy case, investigation and subsequent arrests had a huge aftermath, destroyed the life and career of the ISRO scientists and tarnishing the image of the national organization. The CBI as well as the Supreme Court had then ordered an action against the police officials who were deliberately prolonging the case for selfish motives. This had led the government to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh to Narayanan recently, as an interim relief, a move that came after the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission. The case had attracted a lot of media attention; but the media instead of digging out the truth, had shamelessly played it up. The Supreme Court had absolved all the accused and let them free in December, 1997.
The latest Court verdict is a blow to the Chandy government who had ordered the closure of the long pending file. But the ruling is a welcome relief to Narayanan as well as several others who had lost the precious years of their lives, their career and reputation. Let the government re-consider the Court ruling with utmost seriousness and strive to bring out the truth, ensure justice to the accused innocents and punish the real culprits.