The Kerala government has in-principle approved to give compensation of Rs 1.3 crore to former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. This compensation was approved for his wrongful arrest and harassment by the Kerala Police in the 1994 ISRO spy case. Nambi Narayanan had filed a case against his unlawful arrest in Thiruvananthapuram sub-court.
Kerala state cabinet today gave in-principle approval to give Rs 1.3 crore compensation to former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan, to settle a case he filed in Thiruvananthapuram Sub Court against his unlawful arrest. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/ii0redpmvL
— ANI (@ANI) December 26, 2019
Nambi Narayanan was a scientist in ISRO and headed the cryogenics division. In November 1994, Narayanan was arrested along with two other scientists D Sasikumaran and K Chandrasekhar at that time by the Kerala police after allegations of espionage under the sections 3,4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act.
Apart from these three scientists SK Sharma, an Indian representative of the Russian Space Agency, a labour contractor and a man named Fauzia Hassan were also arrested. All of them were accused of giving secret information of ISRO’s rocket engine to Pakistan.
After his arrest, he was remanded in police custody for a period of 50 days during which he was harassed and tortured by officials of Kerala police and the Indian intelligence bureau.
However, after an investigation by the CBI, the allegations on him were found to be false and in 1998, the Supreme Court upheld the findings by the CBI and had asked the Kerala government to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation to Narayanan and others. However, Dr Narayanan had approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)seeking justice for the harassment and agony meted out to him. In 2001, the NHRC had awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to him.
The Supreme Court also awarded former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs in September last year, for his wrongful arrest and harassment by the Kerala Police in the 1994 ISRO spy case.
The apex court had also ordered a probe into the role of the police officers involved in Narayanan’s arrest and alleged harassment in custody. The three-member probe panel is to be headed by former judge DK Jain.
The Union government led by Narendra Modi finally awarded prestigious Padma Bhushan to Nambi Narayanan on the occasion of 70th Republic Day in 2019.
However, the compensation was a very small price paid for decades-long physical and mental agony suffered by the Narayanan who fell prey to the deadly political-bureaucratic nexus during the Congress era. Nambi Narayanan perhaps had never thought that the factionalism between two groups of the Kerala Congress would end his distinguished career of being a premier space scientist.
In July 2019, former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer NK Sood had made explosive revelations about his time in Iran, Hamid Ansari (the Vice-President in Congress regime) and the vilified scientist Nambi Narayanan. In an exclusive interview, Sood revealed how a close aide of Hamid Ansari, India’s Vice-President during Congress regime, was instrumental in ruining the career of India’s greatest space scientists, Nambi Narayanan.
The former RAW officer while talking to journalist Chiranjeevi Bhat had said: “A man named Ratan Sehgal has been an associate of Hamid Ansari. You must have heard the name of Nambi Narayanan. He was accused of espionage but the Supreme Court found all the allegations against him baseless. They were acquitted innocent. However, no one knows who hatched the conspiracy against him? Ratan Sehgal did all this. It was he who laid the trap of espionage charges to vilify Nambi Narayanan. He did this to spoil the image of India at the International level. While Ratan was in the IB, he was caught while spying for the American agency CIA. Now he is happily living in America. He is close to former Vice-President Ansari and used to scare us. He used to instruct us,” had revealed the RAW officer.