CBI suspects ISI, Pakistan role in ISRO espionage case

The probe agency strongly suspects the involvement of Pakistan in the matter.

Published: 30th July 2021 04:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2021 04:36 AM   |  A+A-

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the conspiracy behind the ISRO espionage case on Thursday informed the Kerala High Court that it suspects a false case was foisted against eminent scientists of the space research agency at the behest of ISI. The probe agency strongly suspects the involvement of Pakistan in the matter.

Appearing for CBI, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju submitted that this is a serious matter involving national security and the Indian space agency’s cryogenic engine technology was derailed with the registration of espionage case against former scientist Nambi Narayanan and others.

“This was done at the behest of foreign powers and we suspect that a false case was foisted against two leading scientists of ISRO at the behest of ISI. The agency also strongly believes that Pakistan is involved in the matter,” Raju submitted. “The officers involved in foisting the case have succeeded in derailing the project,” Raju added.  

Scientists were not allowed to carry out sensitive work: CBI
 “Otherwise, India would have developed the cryogenic engine 20 years ago. These scientists were arrested, humiliated, tortured and then they were not allowed to carry out their sensitive work of developing the cryogenic engine. This was how the case was registered against two former scientists,” Raju said. Later, the CBI probed the case and an in-depth investigation was carried out.

Finally, the CBI concluded that no offence was found against the persons arraigned in the case and the Supreme Court also upheld the CBI’s report. Now, the investigation is going on based on the Justice Jain committee report to conduct a probe against 17 former Kerala police officers and then Intelligence Bureau deputy director R B Sreekumar for hatching a conspiracy to frame a case against Nambi Narayanan and others, the agency said.

The CBI made the submission opposing the anticipatory bail plea of Sreekumar, who later retired as Gujarat DGP. When the court asked about the role of Sreekumar, the ASG replied that the accused person conspired to derail the development of a cryogenic engine, and as part of it, he interrogated the scientists and submitted false reports.

The High Court has directed the CBI not to arrest former Gujarat DGP R B Sreeku-mar, the 7th accused, until August 2.


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