CBI team arrives in Kerala to begin fresh probe in ISRO spy case

The infamous ISRO spy case which first surfaced in the mid nineties, that recently took a different turn, when the then probe team of Kerala Police and Intelligence Bureau now turning accused and the then ‘villain’, country’s premier ISRO scientist, now watching from the sidelines the new proceedings initiated by the CBI.

On Monday the new team of the CBI (Delhi Special Unit) arrived in the state capital and for a while from now on, they would be here to go forward to unravel the ISRO spy case and will look from a different angle if there was any conspiracy on the part of the probe teams of the Kerala Police and the IB.

It was last week, the CBI put pedal on the probe and registered an FIR with the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court against 18 people, including top former Kerala police and IB officials, who have been charged for conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

Soon came the news the next day a Thiruvananthapuram court granted anticipatory bail to former Kerala Director General of Police Siby Mathews, named in a fresh FIR registered by the CBI in the ISRO spy case.

Sources in the know of things revealed that the new CBI team has already started their probe and will very soon call the witnesses and those named in the FIR and speculations are that they might even arrest some.

Things changed for the victim S. Nambi Narayanan, a former ISRO scientist, after numerous long-drawn court battles when the Supreme Court in 2020 appointed a three-member committee headed by retired judge Justice D.K. Jain to probe if there was a conspiracy among the then police officials to falsely implicate Narayanan.

The list of accused in the FIR includes former Gujarat DGP and then IB Deputy Director, R.B. Sreekumar, besides other police officials which include S. Vijayan, Thampi S. Durgadutt, K.K. Joshua, who were all from the local police, which first registered the ISRO spy case.

Apart from Mathews, by now another official whose name figures in the FIR has also secured anticipatory bail and the news is that, many others are also approaching the court for anticipatory bail, as they fear they might be arrested.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when Nambi Narayanan was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, two Maldivian women and a businessman.

The CBI freed Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against Mathews, Vijayan and Joshua who probed the case and falsely implicated him.

Narayanan has now received a compensation of Rs 1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government which in 2020 paid him Rs 1.3 crore and later awarded Rs 50 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakh as directed by the National Human Rights Commission.

The compensation was because the former ISRO scientist had to suffer wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.