The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan was "unfairly arrested and harassed" while pronouncing its verdict on a plea filed by the former ISRO scientist seeking action against police officers who probed the espionage case against him. The top court also ordered a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the scientist.
S. Nambi Narayanan, the former scientist at the Indian Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was in charge of the cryogenics division in the organization.
READ: ISRO Spy Verdict Out: SC says Former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan "unfairly Arrested & Harassed", Orders Rs 50 Lakh Compensation
Here's all you need to know about S. Nambi Narayanan:
- Narayanan was the one who introduced the liquid fuel rocket technology in India in the early 1970s. He was one of the pioneers to understand the requirement of liquid-fueled engines for ISRO’s civilian space programmes and started working on the same. Narayanan developed liquid propellant motors. He first built a successful 600-kg thrust engine in the mid-1970s and thereafter created bigger engines.
- Narayanan autobiography titled 'Ormakalude Bhramanapatham' was released on 23 October 2017. The book details the ISRO espionage case in which Nambi Narayanan, along with few other scientists was detained by the Kerala Police and Intelligence Bureau and were subjected to a repeated third degree and sustained interrogation in the early 1990s.
- In 1994, Narayanan and few other ISRO scientists were accused of selling ISRO secrets for millions. They were arrested on November 30, 1994, on allegations of espionage. It was alleged that he leaked highly confidential 'Flight Test data' to two Maldivian intelligence officers, Mariam Rasheeda, and Fauzia Hassan.
- Narayanan, who was allegedly harassed by the Kerala police after being taken into custody, approached the Kerala High Court asking for punishment against the police officers who tortured him and forcefully extracted statements from him. The Kerala High court, however, ruled against his plea and stated that no action was required against officers associated with the investigation.
- Narayanan then approached the Supreme Court complaining against the High Court ruling.
- The apex court declared both the scientist not guilty in 1998 and asked the state government to pay Rs one lakh to Narayanan and the other scientist as compensation.
- Later, Narayanan approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), claiming compensation against the state government for mental agony and torture suffered by him. The NHRC reviewed the case and analyzing both the sides awarded him an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh on March 14, 2001.
- The legal battle continued as Narayanan pleaded to the Apex Court seeking action against police officers, and the Supreme Court on Friday pronounced its verdict saying that Nambi Narayanan was "unfairly arrested & harassed" and directed the formation of a committee to probe the allegations against the cops in the ISRO spy case. It has also ordered for a cash compensation of Rs 50 lakh.