The Kerala government on Tuesday handed over Rs 1.30 crore as compensation to S Nambi Narayanan, the former ISRO scientist who was falsely implicated in the 1994 espionage case. The compensation was given as settlement in the case filed by the 78-year-old Narayanan against the government in a sub-court in Thiruvananthapuram seeking enhanced damages for his illegal arrest and harassment.
Sources in the Chief Ministerâ€™s office confirmed to PTI the payment of the amount.
The government had earlier handed over Rs 50 lakh to Narayanan three weeks after the Supreme Court in September 2018 ordered the relief, holding that the former scientist was â€śarrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental crueltyâ€ť, besides the Rs 10 lakh recommended by the National Human Rights Commission.
The espionage case, which hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on Indiaâ€™s space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.
The former scientist had to spend two months in prison before the CBI concluded that the allegations against him were false.
The case was first probed by the state police and later handed over to the central investigation agency. The CBI then took over the case and found no evidence linking Nambi Narayanan to the alleged sale of state secrets to other countries. The charges against him were dismissed by the CBI in 1996 and subsequently by the Supreme Court which declared him not guilty in 1998.
Narayanan had moved the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court order which had said that no action was required to be taken against former Director General of Police Siby Mathews and two retired Superintendents of Police â€“ KK Joshua and S Vijayan â€“ who were later held responsible by the CBI for his illegal arrest.
Last year, Nambi Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in the country.