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SC Awards Rs 50 lakh in Damages to Scientist in ISRO Spy Case, Orders Probe of Kerala Cops' Role

The police claimed that scientists S Nambi Narayanan and D Sasikumaran had passed on secret documents, including those relating to cryogenic engines to other countries, especially Pakistan.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:September 14, 2018, 3:25 PM IST
New Delhi: Twenty four years on, the Supreme Court on Friday honourably restored the pride and glory of rocket scientist S Nambi Narayanan, who was a victim of a sham espionage case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra awarded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to Narayanan on account of loss of reputation and mental agony.

The bench further directed for constitution of a committee, headed by retired Supreme Court judge D K Jain, to investigate into the role of the Kerala police officers, who played pivotal role in implicating the former ISRO scientist in the spying case.

Narayanan has been fighting legal battles since 1994, first to clear his name in an espionage case and then for compensation. His fight in the highest court of the country was for action against the police officers who had framed him.

Narayanan, along with another ISRO scientist D Sasikumaran, was arrested in 1994 on espionage charges.

The police claimed that Narayanan and Sasikumaran had passed on secret documents, including those relating to cryogenic engines to other countries, especially Pakistan.

The case was handed over to the CBI within 20 days of its registration and the agency's probe report held the case to be false. The CBI also maintained that the Kerala police and Intelligence Bureau acted unprofessionally in the matter.

Narayanan was exonerated after the CBI's closure report was accepted by a Kochi court in 1996.

But in May 1996, the then government in the state ordered a re-investigation, only to be quashed by the Supreme Court in 1998.

Narayanan subsequently moved the National Human Rights Commission, seeking a compensation of Rs 1 crore. The NHRC ordered for an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh, which was upheld by the Kerala High Court in 2012.

In 2015, Narayanan approached the Supreme Court seeking criminal and disciplinary action against Kerala police officials led by Siby Mathew. A former DGP, Mathew had taken voluntary retirement in 2011 and gone on to become the state’s chief information commissioner.

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