THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CBI has filed its chargesheet before the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Thiruvananthapuram, following a Supreme Court directive in 2021 to investigate the alleged roles of several senior Kerala police officers in framing Isro scientist Nambi Narayanan in an espionage case.
According to sources, the chargesheet names former DGPs Siby Mathews and RB Sreekumar, and former police officers S Vijayan and Thampi S Durga Dutt as accused.The charges include allegations of conspiracy, physical torture, and forging false documents to accuse central govt officials. CBI’s investigation scrutinised the roles of 18 former policemen, including those from Kerala police and IB.
Nambi Narayanan, an aerospace engineer, had played a crucial role in developing the Vikas engine used in many of India’s rockets. In 1994, Narayanan was accused of espionage and was alleged to have sold vital space tech secrets to two Maldivian women acting as intermediaries for Pakistan. This case also involved several other high-ranking Isro scientists and officials.
Narayanan was arrested and subjected to severe physical and mental torture during the interrogation by Kerala police and IB officers. This ordeal lasted 50 days, during which his reputation and career were severely damaged.
CBI took over the case in 1996 and found no evidence against Narayanan and other accused scientists. Narayanan took the matter to SC, seeking justice and accountability for the wrongful arrest and torture he endured.
In 2018, Supreme Court awarded Narayanan a compensation of Rs 50 lakh and recognised the gross miscarriage of justice.
The court also ordered the constitution of a committee, chaired by former SC judge Justice DK Jain, to probe the role of the police officers involved in framing Narayanan. In 2019, Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
In April 2021, SC directed CBI to examine the Jain committee’s findings. CBI registered a case and began its probe in May that year, leading to the recent filing of the chargesheet.