The Kerala High Court on Tuesday overturned the 60-day deadline set by a lower court on the advance bail granted to former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews, who faces a CBI investigation for allegedly falsely implicating the former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in a 1994 espionage case.

Judge K Haripal allowed Mathews’ plea challenging the 60-day bail limit set early by the trial court while granting him protection from arrest on August 24.

Detailed order is expected.

The former DGP, represented by lead lawyer P Vijaya Bhanu and lawyers Ajeesh K Sasi and PM Rafiq, argued that the trial court erred in setting a period of validity for the relief granted.

Mathews, along with 17 other former Kerala Police and IB officials, faces a CBI investigation for allegedly wrongly implicating Narayanan and a few others in the 1994 spy case.

Four of the defendants in the case were released on early bail by the High Court on August 13 and that order was challenged by the CBI in the Supreme Court.

The CBI has filed a complaint against Mathews and 17 others, including IB officials, for various offenses such as criminal association, kidnapping and forging of evidence, as part of the IPC related with the arrest of Narayanan and two Maldivian nationals, Mariyam Rasheeda and Fouziyya Hassan.

The two Maldivian nationals recently asked the CBI to file before the Supreme Court their claim for damages of 2 crore rupees from each of the 18 officers who are presented as accused in the conspiracy case examined by the agency.

On April 15, the Supreme Court ordered the report of a high-level committee on the role of offending police officers in the Narayanan espionage case to be turned over to the CBI and ordered the agency to conduct further investigation into the matter.

The three-member panel, headed by former Supreme Court justice Justice (retd) DK Jain, was appointed by the highest court in 2018 after acquitting Narayanan in the case.

The Apex Court also ordered the government of Kerala to pay Rs 50 lakh in compensation for forcing Narayanan to suffer “immense humiliation”.

The spy case, which had hit the headlines at the time, concerned allegations of the transfer of certain confidential documents from the Indian space program to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivians.

The CBI, in its investigation at the time, found that Kerala’s top police officials were responsible for Narayanan’s illegal arrest.

The case also had political fallout, with a section of Congress targeting the then chief minister, the late K Karunakaran, on the issue, ultimately leading to his resignation.