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HC admits appeal of former DGP Siby Mathews

HC admits appeal of former DGP Siby Mathews

Kochi: The High Court today admitted the writ appeal challenging the single judge's direction to the government to reconsider the decision to exonerate three officials of Special Investigation Team headed by former DGP Siby Mathews, which initially probed the ISRO espionage case.

Siby Mathews contended there were sufficient reasons for the arrest of the petitioner and former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan and other accused in the case.

He stated that he had retired from service and was now holding the office of Chief Information Commissioner.

"There is no master and servant relation between the government and the appellant. Hence, the direction of the single judge to the government to reconsider the issue will only be a futile course of action," he stated.

The general observations by the single judge were likely to adversely affect and prejudice his defence in proceedings before the civil court and also the case Nambi Narayanan had filed before the National Human Rights Commission for compensation from among the appellants as well, he contended.

The High Court had on October 20 quashed the order dropping action against Mathews and two others who investigated the case initially and directed it to reconsider the decision exonerating the officials.

Allowing the petition by Nambi Narayanan, former ISRO scientist and an accused in the case, Justice A V Ramakrishna Pillai had remitted the matter back to the government for reconsideration and issuing formal orders in three months.

The court had made it clear that 'the course of action to be taken was left open to the government but it shall not be namesake making adminstrative justice a mockery'.

The judge had stated that the state government, which was 'enthusiastic' in withdrawing the case from CBI and handing it over to state police, had not taken the note of investigative lapses by Kerala police 'seriously' as could be seen from the records.

"The kind of seriousness as expected from a welfare state was not shown by the state. The conduct of the state was not above board. It does not conform with the known pattern of a responsbile government bound by a rule of law," the court had held.

Nambi Narayanan had moved the court in Dec 2012, seeking initiation of criminal and disciplinary action against Mathews and two retired Supertendents of police- Joshua and S Vijayan, who were held responsible by CBI for his illegal arrest.

The senior scientist had been accused of being involved in the espionage case but was later discharged.

CBI had recommeded action against the three SIT officials 15 years ago but action had not yet been taken against them.

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