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ISRO spy case : SC dissolves Jain committee, says CBI should collect independent evidence

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday dissolved the Justice DK Jain Committee constituted to look into the role of police officers who allegedly framed space scientist Nambi Narayanan in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) espionage case 1994, stating the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should collect independent evidence in the case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of CBI, apprised the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna that FIR has been registered and a copy of the same will be uploaded today.

The bench said, “CBI can proceed after registration of FIR… as per law and no directions required from this court. The respondent can take all possible remedies available in law… further, after registration of FIR, CBI must collect material on its own and not proceed on basis of report submitted by Jain committee.”

During the hearing, counsels of the accused officers argued that the CBI is heavily relying on the Jain committee report in the FIR.

“The report is only initial information. The CBI has to conduct its own investigation. We cannot rely fully on the report. The DK Jain Committee report is not the basis to prosecute you,” the court said in response.

In 1994, then ISRO scientist Dr S Nambi Narayanan was charged for leaking vital defense secrets to two alleged Maldivian intelligence officers, Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan. He was further arrested and was put behind bars for 50 days.

A CBI probe later alleged that then top police officials in Kerala were responsible for Nambi Narayanan’s illegal arrest. He was later acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court in 1998. The Court also granted him compensation of Rs 50 lakh for harassment and mental agony.


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