"Told Then PM Of US Role In Plot To Frame Me": ISRO Ex-scientist To Court

The court also heard arguments on behalf of the two Maldives nationals who were arrested in the spy case

'Told Then PM Of US Role In Plot To Frame Me': ISRO Ex-scientist To Court

Nambi Narayanan and the Maldives nationals have opposed grant of relief to ex-DGP Siby Mathews. File

Thiruvananthapuram:

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan today told a court here that he had informed the then Prime Minister that the US was also involved in the conspiracy to implicate him in the 1994 espionage case, but was asked not to publicise it so as not to ruin the country's relations with that government.

The submission was made before the Principal District and Sessions Judge P Krishnakumar during the hearing of an anticipatory bail plea by former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews in a case registered by CBI against him and 17 other police officers for various offences.

These include criminal conspiracy and kidnapping and fabrication of evidence, under the IPC, in connection with the arrest and detention of Mr Narayanan in the espionage case.

Besides Mr Narayanan, the court heard arguments on behalf of the two Maldives nationals -- Mariyam Rasheeda and Fousiya Hasan -- who were also arrested in the spy case along with the scientist and have now sought Rs 2 crore as damages from each of the 18 officers named in CBI's case.

All three have opposed grant of any relief to Siby Mathews.

The two women, represented by advocate Prasad Gandhi, have alleged that they suffered mental and physical torture as well as monetary loss while they were imprisoned here for more than three years in the espionage case.

They have also alleged that they were illegally arrested and kept in detention for the "personal, economic, official and political mileage" of the officers and the then central government.

The allegations were refuted by Siby Mathews, represented by advocate V Ajakumar, who told the court that Mr Narayanan and the women were arrested due to pressure of IB officers.

After hearing the arguments, which remained inconclusive, the court called for the case diaries of CBI on its initial probe into the case and its present probe into the alleged conspiracy by Kerala Police and IB officers, as well as the report of the committee headed by Justice (retd) D K Jain, set up by the Supreme Court to look into the entire matter.

The court listed the matter for hearing on July 16.

In his anticipatory bail plea, Siby Mathews has also claimed cases under the Foreigners Act and the Official Secrets Act were registered against Mariyam Rasheeda based on the information received from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) that she had "undesirable connections with some ISRO scientists and her activities were prejudicial to interest and security of India".

The Supreme Court had on April 15 ordered that the report of a high-level committee on the role of erring police officials in the espionage case relating to Mr Narayanan be given to the CBI and directed the agency to conduct further investigation into the issue.

The three-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (retd) D K Jain, was appointed by the top court in 2018 after acquitting Mr Narayanan in the case.

The Supreme Court had also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation for compelling Mr Narayanan to undergo "immense humiliation".

The espionage case, which had hit the headlines then, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.

The CBI, in its probe back then, had held that the then top police officials in Kerala were responsible for Mr Narayanan's illegal arrest.

The case also had a political fallout, with a section in the Congress targeting the then Chief Minister late K Karunakaran over the issue, that eventually led to his resignation.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)