Kerala High Court: While deciding upon the issue that whether the State Government was right in its decision of not taking any action against the officers who conducted the initial enquiry of the ‘ISRO Spy Case’, the Court ordered the State to reconsider the Order dated 29.06.2011 terming it as a mockery to the public.
In core of the present case lies a false charge of espionage against the petitioner, a former ISRO scientist alleged to have leaked vital defense details to two Maldivian agents. After the initial investigations the case was handed over to the CBI who found the petitioner innocent terming it as a fraudulent charge, later in 1998, the Supreme Court too dismissed the charges against the petitioner after which the Government carried an inquiry before passing the impugned order in 2011. The petitioner via his counsel C. Unnikrishnan argued that the charges of espionage have done a considerable damage to his honour and career. He further argued that the impugned Order is laced with malafides in form of favouritism towards the officials by not taking any action against them for their errors in the investigation. The respondent counsel P.C. Iype, Additional Advocate General put forth the contention that the present petition is barred by limitation for there has been a delay of 18 years in preferring the writ petition.
Perusing the facts and arguments raised and rejecting the respondent’s contention that 13 year delay to pass the impugned order was caused due to the governmental enquiry before passing the impugned order, the Court observed that the Government dealt with the Supreme Court order and CBI report in a depressingly casual manner and in contravention to the known pattern of the functioning of a State by conducting a namesake enquiry where the petitioner and the respondents were not allowed to participate. The Court further observed that arrest of an individual on false charges is equivalent to torture. S. Nambi Narayanan v. State of Kerala, 2014 SCC OnLine Ker 16987, decided on 20.10.2014