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Supreme Court terms ISRO scientist arrest ‘needless and unnecessary’; grants 50 lakhs compensation

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Nambi Narayanan

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Friday termed the arrest of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan in an alleged Spy scandal as ‘needless and unnecessary’ and ordered a 50 lakh compensation to the scientist who was arrested in 1994 by the Kerala police.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra while delivering the Judgement in the 1994 spy scandal case said, Nambi Narayanan was ‘arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty.’ The Court also ordered a former Supreme Court judge DK Jain to investigate Narayanan’s allegations against Kerala police officers.

Nambi Narayanan who was the pioneer in introducing the liquid fuel rocket technology in India in the early 1970s was charged with leaking vital defence secrets to two alleged Maldivian intelligence officers in 1994. The Kerala police accused that Nambi Narayanan and another scientist, D Sasikumaran had sold the secrets of ISRO in millions.

The State police arrested Nambi who was incharge of the cryogenics division and was charged with spying.The former ISRO scientist had spent 50 days in prison.  The Central Beaurue of Investigation who took over the investigation from the state police had said the case against Nambi Narayanan was baseless, and closed it.

The CBI investigation report also recommended action against the State police officers as it found several lapses in the state police’s investigation.

Narayanan had earlier filed a petition in the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court order which backed the Kerala government’s decision to drop action against accused police officers Siby Mathew, KK Joshua and S Vijayan.

Earlier in 1998, the Supreme Court had granted Narayanan and other discharged in the spy case a compensation worth Rs. 1 lakh. When asked about the Supreme Courts order Narayanan said, “I am yet to see the judgement. All I know is that Rs 50 lakh will be given as compensation and a judicial inquiry will be conducted.”

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Shakitikanta Das to be the new RBI governor

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Shakitikanta Das

New Delhi | Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shakikanta Das is likely to be the next Reserve Bank of India Governor after the resignation of Urjit Patel on December 10.

Shaktikanta Das, a retired 1980 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre was the member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission of India, and India’s Sherpa to G20. Das also worked as Union Economic Affairs Secretary, Union Revenue Secretary, Union Fertilizers Secretary, special secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance and as a joint secretary in the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance in the Indian government.

Earlier Urjit Patel on December 10 resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

 

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Four policemen killed by terrorists in J-K’s Shopian; weapons snatched

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Jaish-e-Mohammed

Srinagar | Four policemen were killed on Tuesday when Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists attacked a guard post outside a minority pocket in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, officials said.

The attack took place this afternoon when four policemen were sitting in a pre-fabricated room outside the pocket that houses six Kashmiri Pandit families.

A senior police official said that six Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were led by former Special Police Officer Adil Bashir, who deserted in October and decamped eight weapons from a PDP legislator.

Quoting eyewitnesses, the police officer said that militants fired indiscriminately, killing three policemen on the spot and critically injuring one.

The injured policeman was rushed to an Army hospital, where he also succumbed to injuries, the official said.

The deceased have been identified as Anees Ahmad, Hamidullah, Mehraj ud Din and Abdul Majeed.

At the time of the incident, only one family was present at the minority pocket.

Immediately after the shootout, the terrorists fled with three Self Loading Rifles (SLRs) of the policemen, the official said, adding a cordon and search operation has been launched to nab the criminals.

The official said that an intercept had been received in which it was clear that Jaish-e-Mohammed, a banned terrorist organisation, was behind the barbaric act.

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PM Modi may visit Tripura in Feb to inaugurate projects: Officials

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Narendra Modi

Agartala | Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Tripura in February to inaugurate several development projects, including an upgraded cancer centre, a government official said. The regional centre, which offers treatment to more than 2,000 cancer patients annually, is set to have a new building and modern equipment, he said.

According to government reports, 3,786 patients succumbed to cancer between 2013 and 2016 in the state.

Sanjoy Mishra, the media adviser to chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, said a high-level meeting was convened Monday to review progress in the cancer hospital project. “The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Tripura in February to inaugurate several developmental projects. The newly built building at the cancer centre is one of them. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday reviewed the progress of the construction work at the centre,” Mishra said.

Chief Secretary LK Gupta, Public Works Department (PWD) secretary Manoj Kumar, and Health and Family Welfare secretary Samarjit Bhowmik were among those who attended Monday’s meeting, he said. “The CM would be visiting New Delhi tomorrow (Wednesday) and meet the prime minister to discuss various issues, including the inauguration of the cancer hospital building,” Mishra told reporters.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2016-17), 40 percent of all cancer patients in the northeast suffer from head and neck malignancy, mainly caused by tobacco consumption.

Tripura tops in tobacco use in the region with 64.5 percent patients in the state admitting to nicotine consumption, the report added.

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