The Supreme Court of India will hear the espionage case relating to the illegal arrest of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Dr Nambi Narayanan. The development came after the Apex Court-appointed committee submitted its report.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta presented the matter before the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The SG told the bench that the committee has submitted its report and the matter is a “national issue”. While the SG felt the court should hear the matter urgently, the bench said they understand the importance of the matter but that it is not urgent. “We will take it up next week,” the bench told Mehta.
The SC set up a three-member Committee, headed by retired judge Justice DK Jain, on September 14, 2018, to take the necessary steps against the guilty police officers for causing harassment and anguish to Narayanan. The SC also told the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the "immense humiliation" Narayanan had to undergo. Last year, the committee began investigating the ISRO spy case. They are trying to uncover evidence of a conspiracy that led the “police to fabricate a case and implicate Narayanan in it”.
The Committee had called Narayanan to collect his statements at the Secretariat Annexe. The Committee members former additional Chief Secretary VK Senthil and retired IAS officer DK Prasad are at the venue, while former justice DK Jain is attending online. Earlier, Narayanan filed a case against the investigating officers of the 1994 case for “cooking up espionage charges” against him. Following this, the Apex Court set up a committee and put former SC Justice DK Jain as the committee chairman.
The Committee probed into the top officers — Siby Mathew, KK Joshua, and S Vijayan — who were in charge of the original case. The original plea, filed with the Kerala High Court, was dismissed, and Narayanan had to approach the Supreme Court. The SC granted him compensation and a committee to probe into the actions of the police officers.