CBI closure report on ISRO Spy case blames IB officials for spoiling the career of top scientists

In a Spy case that never was, IB was taken to task for a shoddy job by the CBI report

20 years later, the complete CBI report on the ISRO Spy case that never was
20 years later, the complete CBI report on the ISRO Spy case that never was

Certain sensitive documents will come out in the public domain after a long time. After 20 years, PGurus accessed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) closure report on the two decade old Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spy case. The 32-page report published in the end of this post lays the blame squarely at the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials and top Kerala Police officers for spoiling the career and fame of ISRO’s top scientists like Nambi Narayanan and D. Sasikumar.

Apart from criticising the IB Joint Director Mathew John and Deputy Director RB Sreekumar, CBI also blames then IB Chief D C Pathak (referred to as DIB in the report) for the goof-ups in the case resulting in disaster to ISRO scientists. The CBI’s closure report clearly admonishes the IB’s interrogation team led by Mathew John and Sreekumar for putting pressure on the scientists and two women from Maldives to prove their point.

The closure report says there was no leakage of documents from ISRO or no money exchange was found. But the IB officials and Kerala Police officials were just pressing the arrested scientists and women to make false statements. Worse, the then IB Chief was just sending the daily interrogation notes (mentioned as UO or Un-Official (?)) and reports to Home Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) without verification (Page 13), says the CBI report.

The 32 page report ends: “The above mentioned facts show that the aforesaid IB officials comprising the team enquiring into ISRO case, acted in an unprofessional manner and were privy to the arrest of six innocent persons, thereby causing them immense mental physical agony. The senior officers who were supervising and monitoring the enquiries under reference, particularly,  Shri. Mathew John, Jt. Director and R B Sreekumar failed in their duty to conduct the inquiry in an objective and fair manner. At the IB Headquarters, the UO notes referred to herein-above were prepared based on these interrogation reports and without verification leading to serious complications including casting doubts on the integrity of two top ISRO scientists who were responsible for developing the PSLV project and launching our country into the space”.

The scientists were arrested and tortured in mid 1994 and were let off; after many years the CBI closed the case, blaming IB and Kerala Police for the unprofessional investigation. Now scientist Nambi Narayanan is fighting for justice to get back his lost honour. Others arrested with him  try to believe their bad days as their fate (bad karma).

This “fake scandal” had a disastrous effect on India’s cryogenic program. It led to the downfall of K Karunakaran, the Chief Minister of Kerala who could never become a Chief Minister again. Nambi Narayanan, an honest, sincere and brilliant scientist (he had a Masters from Princeton, an Ivy League University), who was a peer of A P J Abdul Kalam, was tortured, kept in a cell for days and even after he was acquitted, never given the same pride of place in the ISRO.

The full CBI report follows:

CBI Report on IB on RBS Role Final

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.

Team PGurus


  1. IB Chief sending the daily interrogation notes and reports to Home Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) without verification could be due to pressure from the higher ups.

    Happy to hear that the names of innocent patriots have been cleared. An official apology from the authorities is due.

    • Nambi was just the collateral damage in the plan architected by a rival faction within Congress’ Kerala unit, to bring down the then CM Karunakaran.

  2. All the officers should be sued and tried for treason which will send a strong message for other officers to think twice.

    Whats the use the best of the Scientists and their hard work has been demolished and the scientist demoralised!!! Named and Shamed!!

  3. Should’nt the IB Joint Director Mathew John and Deputy Director RB Sreekumar be charged with treason?

    But then Modi admin is very reluctant to act on corrupt and traitors. Even in the Ishrat case no heads rolled.

  4. Looks more like a conspiracy to derail India’s space program. Should n’t the officials be taken to task for anti-national activities?

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