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

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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