Bangalore: The Department of Space has refused to share details based on which punitive action was taken against former space agency chief G Madhavan Nair and three other retired ISRO scientists, saying the matter is before the Central Administrative Tribunal.
Nair immediately hit out at the DoS for maintaining "secrecy on a topic which is so widely talked about", and termed it "unheard of and unimaginable".
Under RTI, Nair had first filed an application seeking information on the grounds the four scientists had been barred from holding government jobs for their alleged role in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.
The DoS had declined to give information then under Section (1) (h) of RTI, saying "as further investigations on the matter are in progress, providing the information at this stage would impede the ongoing investigation".
Nair found this argument strange, asking as to how punitive action can be taken when the enquiry is still on. The DoS, citing a different clause under RTI, has now again declined information, including file notings, to Nair, who had filed an appeal under RTI, saying since the matter is pending before the CAT, details cannot be shared.
"They gave a standard reply saying as the matter is before the CAT, they cannot reveal anything. Now, they have taken shelter under the court case. Something fishy about the whole affair. They are not revealing whatsoever", Nair said
"This is actually unheard of. This kind of secrecy is unimaginable". Nair had also filed a petition before the CAT, Kochi, praying for setting aside of January 13 order on the punitive action which he has alleged is illegal and procedures had not been followed.
He said he would again file an appeal before the RTI Commissioner and pursue the matter but indicated that he is pinning more hopes on the case before the CAT.
Hearing on the matter is expected to come up by this week-end, Nair added.
The other three officials against whom action has been taken are A Bhaskaranarayana, former scientific secretary at ISRO, K R Sridhara Murthi, former managing director of Antrix and KN Shankara, former director of the ISRO Satellite Centre.