In its closure report on how Intelligence Bureau officers had handled the ISRO Spy Case,the CBI had said senior IB officers,particularly joint director Mathew John and deputy director R B Sreekumar,had failed in their duty to conduct the probe in an objective and fair manner.
Sreekumar,then serving in Kerala and who later retired as Gujarats DGP,has of late been involved in a showdown with the BJP,which has raked up the ISRO case.
The CBI closure report on the role of certain Intelligence Bureau officials in the investigation of the ISRO case had stated that if the IB officials had verified the statements of the accused,the air would have been cleared a long time ago and the honour of respectable scientists could have been saved. It said,The omissions and commissions on the part of the IB officials show that they acted in an unprofessional manner and were privy to the arrest of six innocent persons…
The CBI report said Sreekumar had categorically that the disclosures made by the accused were not verified by the IB. Mathew John,in his statement to the CBI,had stated that IB was involved in the interrogation of Mariyam Rasheeda (of Maldives). Although he could not recollect the names of all IB officials who had assisted in the interrogation,John had named R B Sreekumar and other officers.
According to the report,Sreekumar,in his statement to the CBI,had admitted the IB did not have the legal authority to examine an accused when they were in the custody of police. The report stated that Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner V R Rajeevan had discussed with Sreekumar the matter about overstay of Mariyam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan. The commissioner was informed the IB did not have evidence of any offence,the report said. It said the police had wanted to close the espionage case but a decision to extend Rasheedas police custody was taken in a meeting attended by Sreekumar and John.
The report said IB officials tortured or ill-treated at least Rasheeda,Chandrasekhar and Nambi Narayanan. It said no IB official signed the interrogation reports on four of the accused,so it was not possible to fix the identity of the officer who prepared the reports.
Besides,it noted,videotapes of three interrogations were produced in the high court,yet no IB official admitted having vidoegraphed the interrogations. John failed to identify the officers who had done so,while Sreekumar said he was unaware of the videography.
John had informed the IB director that the disclosures made by the accused were a mixture of truth,half-truth and untruth. It was clear that senior officials of the IB had suspected that revelations of the accused were not worthy of credence… the IB officials did not verify the disclosures of the arrested. If they had made the verifications… arrest of innocent persons could have been avoided, the report said.