Trouble for ex-police chief in ISRO spy case

If former Kerala Police chief Siby Mathews believed that life after retirement would be peaceful, he was in for a rude shock on Wednesday. After the Supreme Court decided to ask for a fresh Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the infamous ISRO spy case, 18 officials who were then serving in the Kerala Police and the Intelligence Bureau started moving local courts for anticipatory bail.

On Wednesday, Mathews' bail plea hit a road bump when two Maldivian women, who were also accused in the case, filed an impleading petition seeking to be heard.

The local court in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, considering the bail plea, posted the hearing for Monday.

On Thursday, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan (left) also moved an impleading petition in the district sessions court, objecting to the anticipatory bail application of Mr Mathews.

The court posted the bail application and the impleading petitions for next Monday.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when Mr Narayanan, who was then a top ISRO scientist, was arrested on the charge of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, the two Maldivian women and a businessman.

In his bail application, Mr Mathews said there was a spy network in Thuruvannanthapuram, the state capital, as was evident from the statements given by the Maldivian women, Mariam Rasheeda and Fouzia Hassan.

Mr Mathews also blamed the then IB official R.B. Sreekumar for pressuring him to arrest Narayanan and the two women.

Mr Mathews took voluntary retirement a decade ago and then served a five-year term as Chief Information Commissioner before retiring and settling down in Thiruvananthapuram.

Last week, the CBI registered a first information report with the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate's court against 18 people, including ex-Kerala Police and IB officers, who have been charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

Life changed for Mr Narayanan after the Supreme Court last year appointed a three-member committee headed by a retired judge, Justice D.K. Jain, to probe if there was a conspiracy hatched by the officials probing the case to falsely implicate the scientist.

Indo-Asian News Service

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