In the latest development in 1994 alleged fake espionage case, former Kerala police officer S Vijayan on Wednesday alleged before the Kerala High Court that ex-ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan influenced the CBI investigation in the case against him by entering into land deals worth crores with the then investigating officials of the agency.

The former cop sought to register a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the former scientist. Vijayan, along with 17 other former Kerala police and IB officials, is facing a CBI probe for allegedly falsely implicating Narayanan and some others in the 1994 spying case.

CBI on June 17 lodged the case against 18 officials of the Kerala Police and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB), 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 Mariyam Rasheeda and Fouziyya Hasan in 1994. Former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar is also one of the accused in the case.

The CBI has registered the case after Narayanan approached the Supreme Court seeking to take action against the Kerala police officials and IB officials who were involved in the case. A committee headed by Justice (retd) D K Jain was also formed in 2018 by the Apex Court to look into the allegations against the officials. The FIR was lodged after the Supreme Court order based upon a report submitted by the Committee. The Supreme Court had also directed the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation for compelling Narayanan to undergo "immense humiliation".

On Wednesday, Vijayan's Lawyer told Justice R Narayana Pisharadi that he had placed before the Trial Court encumbrance certificates of several acres of land in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu which show Narayanan or his son as power of attorney holders. These lands were sold to the CBI officials, Vijayan has alleged in the high court and contended that this material was sufficient for the Trial Court to order an investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the scientist and the agency officials.

The High Court, however, said that encumbrance certificates do not prove sale of land and asked Vijayan to show the actual sale deeds. The High Court also said that sanction to prosecute would also be required for the trial court to order an investigation. It further said that the Trial Court had only rejected Vijayan's complaint and did not dismiss it and therefore, he can move a fresh complaint there along with all the relevant documents. The Court said it will pass an order on admission of Vijayan's plea and will issue notice to all the parties, including Narayanan, as all of them have to be heard.

Vijayan's lawyer told the High Court that preparations were underway to obtain records of the sale deeds in relation to the encumbrance certificates. Vijayan and three others were granted anticipatory bail by the High Court in August in the CBI's conspiracy case against them.

Maldivian Residents Seeks Damages of Rs2 Crore

Besides Narayanan, two Maldivian women -- Mariyam Rasheeda and Fouziyya Hassan -- were also arrested and detained in the case. The two women were jailed for over three years before being released. The two Maldives nationals recently moved the CBI requesting it to place before the Supreme Court their claim for damages of Rs 2 crore from each of the 18 officers who are arrayed as accused in the conspiracy case being probed by the agency.

The women have urged the agency to place their claim for damages before the Supreme Court when it hears CBI's appeal against the Kerala High Court order granting anticipatory bail to the four accused - a former DGP of Gujarat, two former police officers of Kerala, and a retired intelligence official - in the conspiracy case being probed by the agency. The agency, in its appeal, has sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to the four accused by the High Court on August 13.

(With PTI inputs)