Was arrested without proof, Fouzia tells HC

Submission while opposing pleas of accused in ISRO frame-up case

Fouzia Hassan, the Maldivian woman who was acquitted in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) espionage case, has informed the High Court that she and her friend Mariam Rasheeda were arrested in the case without any credible evidence and that two former police officers, S. Vijayan and Thambi S. Durgadutt, had set the law in motion in violation of the Official Secrets Act.

The submission was made on Tuesday when opposing the anticipatory bail pleas of the two former police officers in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection the conspiracy to frame former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in the espionage case.

‘No authority’

Ms. Hassan said in a statement filed through her counsel that the then Special Branch Inspector S. Vijayan and the then Station House Officer Thampi S. Durgadutt did not have any authority to register the case without the sanction of the Centre government under Section 13(3) of the Official Secrets Act. ‘

Besides, only the Central government or the ISRO had the power to file a complaint in a case under the Act. A serious conspiracy was hatched by the two former police officers and former Special Investigation Team chief Siby Mathews for facilitating political mileage and and pillorying the then State and Centre governments.

‘Baseless charge’

In fact, the allegation was that scientists Mr. Narayanan and Sasi Kumar had leaked the drawing of cryogenic technology to Pakistan through the petitioner and her friend. However, the committee of experts had opined that no drawing or other material was leaked or missing from the ISRO.

Despite this, the SIT had gone ahead with the investigation and continued the illegal detention of the petitioner, her friend and the two former scientists in 1994, she added.

Ms. Hassan said that the two accused former police officers should not be permitted to scuttle the due process of law.

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