Nambi Narayanan`s arrest not `US agenda`: CIC
Kochi: Sibi Mathews, Chief Information Commissioner and former ADGP, on Wednesday denied in the Kerala High Court the charge that the arrest of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in an espionage case was part of `US agenda`.
Narayanan had stated in a petition that his arrest was part of `US agenda` accomplished by CIA in connivance with Intelligence Bureau officials and Sibi Mathews and two other police officers, who were part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which probed the case initially.
In a counter affidavit, Mathews strongly denied the charge as `false, incorrect, baseless and with oblique motive`.
Narayanan had never raised such contentions before the High Court or Supreme Court while challenging the notification issued by the Kerala government for further investigation of the ISRO case, it was submitted.
The CBI report, which the petitioner considers `authentic` and `sacred` has never even hinted such allegations which have not been raised even in the civil suit for damages filed by the petitioner against the respondents and others, he said.
The sole motive of Nambi Narayanan, who was arrested and later discharged in the ISRO espionage case, in seeking action against him and two other police officers, was to `tarnish` his image and `stifle` his prospects, Sibi Mathews stated.
The former IPS officer also submitted there was no official communication from the Union government, Department of Space or ISRO supporting Narayanan`s contention that India could have earned Billions of US Dollars by developing cryogenic engine, but for his arrest.
Nambi Narayanan was reinstated and continued to work in ISRO till his retirement in 2001. But he was never given an important assignment, connected to Cryogenic engine, possibly because the central government knew the charge of espionage against the petitioner, it was submitted.
Mathews also described as `baseless` Nambi Narayanan`s allegations of torture, mental and physical harassment against him.
He said the case was referred to CBI on his recommendation as it was a matter of national ramification and highly placed military officers would come within the purview of investigation.
Mathews said the Kerala government had never initiated any disciplinary action against him and there was no departmental enquiry as the government was convinced about the `hollowness` of the petition and `shabby` investigation by the CBI.
Nambi Narayanan had approached the High Court in December last year, seeking initiation of criminal and disciplinary action against Mathews and retired Superintendents of Police Joshua and S Vijayan, who had launched initial investigations.
Action had not yet been taken though CBI had filed its report 15 years ago, the petitioner had pointed out.
Charges of espionage at ISRO had surfaced with the arrest of Maldivian national Mariam Rasheeda in Thiruvananthapuram in October 1994. Another Maldivian woman, Fausia Hassan, a former ISRO scientist, and two Bangalore-based businessmen were the other accused, besides Narayanan in the case.
The CBI after investigation, had filed a final report as `not proved and false` on April 30, 1996. Chief Judicial Magistrate Ernakulam accepted the closure report and had discharged all the accused on May 02, 1996.
The government on June 29, 2011 had decided not to proceed against the IOs in the case - Sibi Mathews, KK Joshua and Vijayan.
The petitioner sought a direction to the state government to initiate appropriate criminal and disciplinary action against these officials.
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