Kerala HC grants interim bail to ex-cops in ISRO conspiracy case

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday granted interim anticipatory bail to former Kerala police officers, S Vijayan and Thampi S Durga Dutt, the first and second accused respectively in the case relating to hatching a conspiracy to frame former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan and others in the ISRO espionage case for two weeks.

Justice Ashok Menon passed the interim order on the petition seeking anticipatory bail filed by the two former police officers.

The court ordered that the petitioners be released on interim bail on their executing a bond for Rs.50,000 with the two solvent sureties to the like sum if the CBI arrested the petitioners. However, the petitioners should cooperate with the investigation, held the court.

When the petition came up for hearing, the Assistant Solicitor General P. Vijayakumar appearing for CBI sought adjournment citing that the Additional Solicitor General of India will be appearing in the case. Then the petitioner's counsel requested for an interim order restraining the CBI from arresting them.

When the court asked whether the prosecution was going up on arresting the accused, the ASG was not in a position to say anything regarding the arrest. Therefore, the court said that it was granting interim bail to the two former police officers.

The court also extended the interim order directing CBI not to arrest P.S.Jayaprakash, former Central intelligence officer and 11th accused in the case for two weeks.

The petitioners argued that they had only acted in the best interests of the police department and they had not done any excesses on any accused. The accused in the espionage case were produced before the Magistrate court and when they were questioned by the Magistrate, they did not make any complaints of torture against the petitioners.

The CBI has filed a statement citing that then former police officers had played an active role and concocted an espionage case after hatching a conspiracy with the other accused in the FIR and other unknown persons. The petitioners were still very influential as they had once served as officers in the Kerala police. If bail was granted to them, it would create fear in the minds of probable witnesses who may be otherwise willing to speak the truth.