The Supreme Court on Friday awarded Rs 50 lakh compensation to former ISRO scientist S. Nambi Narayanan who was falsely implicated in an espionage case and had to suffer jail term and ignominy.
The top court held that Narayanan was “arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty” in the 1994 espionage case and ordered a probe into the role of Kerala Police officers in it.
Nambi Narayanan welcomed the Supreme Court verdict but stressed there should be a time-frame for completion of the probe by the court-appointed panel.
Reacting to the apex court verdict, the 76-year old said he felt “better now than earlier”.
On the compensation of Rs 50 lakh awarded to him, he said officials responsible for his arrest should be made to pay the compensation amount and also the fine.
Awarding the compensation, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also directed setting up of a committee to inquire into the role of erring officials who Nambi Narayanan said had implicated him in the alleged Indian Space Research Organisation spy case.
The committee would be headed by a retired judge and have a representative each from the Centre and the Kerala government.
The court verdict has come on a plea by Nambi Narayanan seeking probe into his framing in the case by the Kerala Police and other agencies.
Nambi Narayanan had moved the top court challenging a Kerala High Court judgment that had upheld the state government’s decision not to take action against the officials.
Narayanan, who was arrested in the case, had to spend close to two months in jail. Later, it was found by the CBI that the espionage case was a false one.
The espionage case pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India’s space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.
The case was first investigated by the state police and later handed over to the CBI.
(With inputs from agencies)