Thursday, December 7, 2023

Supreme Court adjourns CBI appeal in ISRO espionage case

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The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the adjournment appeal of the Central Bureau of Investigation against the anticipatory bail granted to former intelligence and police officials accused in the ISRO frame-up case. The case will be next taken up on February 25.

On January 3, the agency had asked the court to postpone the case to January 28, saying that it needed time to file a rejoinder. The agency sought another similar extension today.

When asked by a Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, CBI had said its officers were down with Covid-19.

The Court noted in its order, On the earlier occasion the petitioner CBI had requested two weeks time to file a rejoinder and the matter was listed for today. The petitioner submitted that the rejoinder could not be filed due to the office staff being infected and down with Covid-19.

The court issued notice to the accused persons now out on bail on November 22 last.

The CBI had argued that there may be a larger conspiracy involving fireign powers in the case, which stalled the technology to develop the cryogenic engine by decades.

The CBI has challenged the bail granted at the “threshold” of the investigation.

“The frame-up led to the arrest of scientists. The technology for the cryogenic engine was deliberately stalled for at least two decades… May be a larger conspiracy involving foreign powers… Grant of anticipatory bail at the threshold may harm the investigation,” Additional Solicitor-General S.V. Raju, for the CBI, had submitted.

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