The Kerala High Court quashed a government decision not to take any action against the State Chief Information Commissioner and former Additional Director General of Police and former police officers.
The Kerala High Court on Monday quashed a government decision not to take any action against the State Chief Information Commissioner and former Additional Director General of Police Siby Mathews and former police officers, including the then circle inspector (Special Branch) S. Vijayan and the then Superintendent of Police K.K. Joshua, who had conducted the initial investigation into the ISRO espionage case.
Justice A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai, while allowing a writ petition filed by former ISRO scientist S. Nambi Narayanan challenging the government decision, directed the State government to reconsider the decision and issue former orders in three months. The court also made it clear that it should not be “a namesake” one, making the administration of justice a mockery.
Mr. Narayanan in his petition said the Centre Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sent a report to the State government pointing out the lapses on the part of the investigation officers.
None of the police officers had challenged the findings in the report. However, the State government had issued an order in June 29, 2011, dropping all further proceedings against the police officers.
According to Mr. Narayanan, the espionage case was a cocked up one. The case had surfaced in 1994. The CBI which took over the investigation concluded in 1996 that the allegation of espionage was false.
The court observed that it was crucial to note that the investigation conducted by the CBI had led to the closure report in the espionage case which submitted before the magistrate court and was accepted by the apex court. Under these circumstances, the State government should not have dealt with the recommendation of the CBI in such a casual manner by conducting a namesake inquiry.
The court said the arrest and detention of innocent persons on false accusation was nothing but torture. Physical assault was not a necessary ingredient of torture. It was admitted that the petitioner was a senior scientist in ISRO at the time of his arrest.
The court also dismissed the contention of the government that it took the decision not to take disciplinary action against the police in view of the fact that the CBI had filed the report after 15 years of the registration of the case.
The government also took the stand that the CBI report contained only a vague recommendation to take action as deemed it fit.
The decision was taken after proper application of mind. Besides, the petitioner had not raised any such questions for the last 18 years after his arrest before any judicial forum, the government contended.