The Kerala cabinet on Tuesday accepted in principal a recommendation to compensate former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan with Rs 1.3 crores. The compensation is for his unlawful arrest and torture while in police custody when he was falsely implicated in the ISRO espionage case in 1994.
According to reports, the compensation of Rs 1.3 crore is given to the former scientist to settle a suit filed by Nambi in a sub-court in Thiruvananthapuram. The recommendation to compensate him was made by former chief secretary K Jayakumar, who was assigned to look into the issue and suggest remedies. This compensation is apart from the compensation of Rs 50 lakh given following a Supreme Court order and Rs 10 lakh recommended by the National Human Rights Commission.
In 1994, Nambi Narayanan was falsely implicated of selling vital state secrets of the ISRO comprising of test data from rocket and satellite launches to Pakistan. Through the was acquitted by a CBI court and later the Supreme Court in 1998, he, along with fellow scientist D Sasikumar and 4 others, spent a total of 40 days in jail. In 2018, the apex court bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra awarded Nambi Narayanan a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for ‘unnecessary arrest, harassment and mental cruelty’ to be recovered from the Kerala government within 8 weeks. The court also constituted a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice DK Jain to investigate the role of Kerala police officials who were instrumental in the arrest of Nambi.
In October 2018, BJP MP from Bengaluru Rajeev Chandrasekhar had appealed to the union government to honour the scientist with a Padma award. In his letter to the government, the MP had highlighted some of the greatest achievements of the former ISRO scientist.
In 2019, Nambi Narayanan was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour in India.