Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews was on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail by a court here in the case registered by the CBI in connection with the illegal arrest of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan and two Maldives nationals in a 1994 spying case.
The relief was granted by Principal District and Sessions Judge P Krishnakumar, advocate V Ajakumar -- who appeared for Mathews -- confirmed. The order was also confirmed by advocate Prasad Gandhi, who had appeared for the two Maldivian nationals -- Mariyam Rasheeda and Fouziyya Hasan. The detailed order is awaited.
Both Narayanan and the two women from Maldives had opposed granting any relief to Mathews. Recently Kerala High Court had granted anticipatory bail plea to three former police officers and a retired Intelligence Bureau (IB) official in the same case.
CBI has lodged the case against Mathews and 17 others, including IB officials, for various offences like criminal conspiracy and kidnapping and fabrication of evidence, under the IPC in connection with the arrest of Narayanan and the two Maldives nationals.
The Supreme Court had on April 15 ordered that the report of a high-level committee on the role of erring police officials in the espionage case relating to Narayanan be given to the CBI and directed the agency to conduct further investigation on the issue. The three-member committee, headed by former apex court judge Justice (retd) D K Jain, was appointed by the top court in 2018 after acquitting Narayanan in the case.
The Supreme Court had also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation for compelling Narayanan to undergo "immense humiliation". The espionage case, which had hit the headlines then, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.
The CBI, in its probe back then, had held that the then top police officials in Kerala were responsible for Narayanan's illegal arrest. The case also had a political fallout, with a section in the Congress targeting the then Chief Minister late K Karunakaran over the issue, that eventually led to his resignation.