ISRO espionage case: SC to hear ex-scientist's plea seeking action against former Kerala DGP in April

New Delhi: On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to hear in April the plea of a former Isro scientist, discharged in an espionage case, seeking action against former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews and others who had probed the matter.

A bench headed by Dipak Misra fixed the matter for final disposal in second week of April after the advocate for one of the respondents sought time to file a counter affidavit.

"Let the matter be listed in the second week of April for final disposal. Pleadings shall be completed by then," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, said.

76-year-old former Isro scientist Nambi Narayanan has 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 held responsible by CBI for his illegal arrest.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Narayanan has said the division bench of the high court had "failed to appreciate the real undercurrent that passed through the mind of the apex court, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the single judge of the high court in their verdict and on untenable reasons, quashed the order of the single judge".

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 NHRC claiming compensation against the state government for mental agony and torture suffered by him. The NHRC, after hearing both sides and taking into account the apex court judgement of 29 April, 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.

"And unless action as suggested by the CBI is immediately taken, (possibly under the provisions of Section 195 of the IPC if for any justifiable reason departmental action could not be taken), the innocent public would suffer at the hands of the police," he has said.

It was hence "appropriate that the impugned judgement of 4 March, 2015 of the High Court of Kerala... is stayed and the State Government initiate action as deemed necessary during the pendency of this SLP."

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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2017 17:12:42 IST

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