Mumbai, August 12: In a major development, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan who was falsely implicated in the 1994 espionage case has finally got justice. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government finally handed over him a compensation of Rs 1.3 crore.
Speaking on the development, Narayanan shared, "I am happy. It is not for money alone I fought. My fight was against injustice." The current compensation is in addition to an amount of Rs 50 lakh provided by the government based on a Supreme Court verdict and another Rs 10 lakh given to him as directed by the National Human Rights Commission. It's learned that the current amount has been given from the state police's head account.
Last year, the Kerala government decided to give him Rs 1.3 crore as compensation. The amount is for settling the case filed by 77-year-old Naryananan against the government in a sub-court here, seeking enhanced damages for his illegal arrest and harassment. Following the government's decision to provide him compensation, Nambi Narayanan had withdrawn the case.
Narayanan was accused of leaking certain confidential documents on India’s Space program to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan. Narayanan was among two scientists that were accused of selling the secrets for millions. Narayanan was arrested and spent 48 days in jail.
After that CBI takes over the case. After 15 days of investigation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kerala Police, the case was transferred to the CBI which after 18 months of the investigation in April 1996 concluded that the case against Nambi Narayanan and others was fabricated. The CBI had reportedly submitted two confidential reports to the Union and Kerala governments listing respectively serious lapses by IB officials and SIT members.
The CBI in its report had observed, "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 and physical agony." The CBI had also clearly indicted Srikumar for "failing in their duty to conduct the inquiry in an objective and fair manner."
On 7 November 2013, Narayanan pushed for justice in his case, seeking to expose those behind the conspiracy. He says that this case will 'discourage' the youth. On 14 September 2018, Supreme Court has given a clean chit to former ISRO scientist 'Nambi Narayanan' in a false espionage case, implicated by the Kerala Police under Congress govt in 1994. It had categorically mentioned that the case was "unnecessary" and that "he was implicated."
Nambi was a brilliant scientist and at the time of his arrest, he was working as a senior official at ISRO and was in charge of the cryogenics division. He was responsible for introducing the liquid fuel rocket technology in India when the country was still working on solid motors and played a major role in developing the ‘Vikas Engine’ used for the first PSLV launch. On 26 Jan 2019, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India.