ISRO espionage case: SC reserves verdict on ex-scientist's plea

The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a plea by a former ISRO scientist, who was discharged in an espionage case, seeking action against former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews and others who had probed the matter.

76-year-old Nambi Narayanan had approached the apex court against the judgement of the Kerala High Court which had said that no action was required to be taken against the former DGP and two retired Superintendents of Police, K K Joshua and S Vijayan, who were later held responsible by the CBI for the scientist's illegal arrest

The CBI today told a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that it was ready for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations by Narayanan.

"Arguments completed. Judgment reserved. Counsel for the parties are at liberty to file written notes of submissions within a week hence," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the CBI, maintained that no allegation has been made by the scientist that he was tortured or harassed during the investigation by the CBI.

"We have nothing to hide. There is no need for us to pay compensation to Nambi Narayanan. Let there be a Supreme Court monitored probe," the ASG said.

The apex court had in 1998 granted compensation of Rs one lakh to Narayanan and others, who were discharged in the case, and had directed the state government to pay the amount.

Later, he had approached the NHRC claiming compensation from the state government for the mental agony and torture suffered by him. The NHRC, after hearing both sides and taking into account the apex court judgement of April 29, 1998, had awarded an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh in March 2001.

Challenging the legality of the high court's division bench order, Narayanan had termed it as "bad in law" and sought an interim stay contending that "the illegality in the judgement impugned, if allowed to perpetuate, would only encourage the unlawful action and mindset on the part of the Kerala police to harass innocent persons for extraneous considerations.

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