Published on: 03 December 2022 at 18:11 IST
The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Kerala High Court in 2021 granting anticipatory bail of five former police officials and intelligence bureau members, in matter related to the alleged framing of ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in 1994 ISRO espionage case.
The bench of Justices CT Ravikumar and MR Shah reserved its verdict on November 28 on two petitions filed by CBI contesting the order of grant of bail by Kerala HC to former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews, former Gujarat ADGP RB Sreekumar and PS Jayaprakash – who were IB officials in 1994- and two former Kerala Police officers S. Vijayan and Thampi S. Durga.
The court remitted the bail application back to the high court and directed to give its decision as early as possible within four weeks. The court also granted immunity from arrest to the accused for the next 5 weeks, with interim condition to cooperate with the investigation till the HC reach a decision.
The operative portion of judgement was stated by the Justice MR Shah, as follows:
“All the anticipatory bail applications are remitted to the High Court to decide the same afresh in accordance with law and in the light of the observations made hereinabove.”
“We request the High Court to finally decide and dispose of the anticipatory bail applications at the earliest, but preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of these orders. The Registry of the High Court is directed to notify all these anticipatory bail applications before the concerned bench taking up such matters within a period of one week from today.”
“Meantime, by way of an interim arrangement, without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the CBI before the High Court, it is directed that for a period of five weeks from today, i.e till the bail applications are finally decided by the High Court upon remand, the respondent accused shall not be arrested subject to their cooperation with the investigation”.
The Court also mentioned that the High Court has to pass decision without any biasness towards the interim relief granted to the accused. The bench further added that it fails to see whether the high court has taken each any every aspect on consideration before rendering its decision.
“The High Court has committed certain wrongs. It has not dealt with Justice Jain committee report, individual allegations not examined. High Court should deal with individual cases individually”
Dr. Nambi Narayan was compensated Rs 50 lakh for wrongful confinement and custodial torture. The apex court in its decision also directed to constitute a commission headed by former SC Judge DK Jain to reason behind framing of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayan and other scientists in the 1994 espionage case. The same report was submitted in April 2021, before the Supreme Court.
Then the Supreme Court directed the CBI to investigate matter on the basis of Justice Jain Committee report. The CBI registered the case and arrested the accused believe to be involved in this conspiracy. Later, the anticipatory bail of the accused was granted by the Kerala High Court.
The High Court remarked that there was “not even a scintilla of evidence” to suggest that the petitioners accused of implicating former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in the espionage case were influenced by foreign elements.