After 24 years of fighting, Supreme Court declared the ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan to be innocent and not guilty in the 1994 ISRO spy case that allegedly accused the scientist of selling rocket engine drawings to Pakistan.
Back in 1994, an ISRO scientist named Nambi Narayanan was charged for espionage under the ‘ISRO spy case’ and after fighting for almost 24 years against this falsely charged case and he got the justice served for himself, for his family and for our nation as the Supreme Court declared him to be innocent. Nambi was working in the cryogenics department at ISRO, and he was among the first to foresee the need for liquid fueled engines for ISRO’s future civilian space programs.
Nambi introduced this technology to India in the 1970s but was later accused of selling this confidential information to Pakistan. According to the sources, Nambi Narayanan was accused of transferring the technological secrets to Pakistan, which were meant to be confidential and hence, accused with espionage charges and immediately arrested by the Kerala Police. After his arrest, he spent around 50 days in the jail and later acquitted by a CBI court and then the Supreme Court in 1998.
The brief timeline of the whole case is like below:
October 1994: Mariam Rasheeda was arrested by Thiruvananthapuram police in charge of selling rocket engine drawings to sell Pakistan.
November 1994: Nambi Narayanan was arrested for passing on information to Rasheeda.
January 1995: ISRO scientists released on bail.
April-May 1996: CBI files its own investigation, but fails to detect the espionage.
June 1996: Kerala government issues a notification to re-start the investigation.
November 1996: Kerala High Court dismisses the challenge.
April 1998: SC awards Rs. 1 lakh compensation to Nambi and others who were discharged in the case.
April 1999: Nambi approaches NHRC for mental agony and torture compensation.
March 2001: NHRC awards Narayanan interim compensation of Rs. 10 lakh, asks the state to pay it. The state government challenges the award.
After a lot of struggle and fighting finally, on
May 2018: Three-judge panel, asks awarding Nambi a compensation of Rs. 75 lakh.
September 14, 2018: SC awards Rs 50 lakh compensation to Nambi, and release him from the false accuse of spying case.
After the struggle, Nambi said, “I am happy that the judiciary did not let me down. Now they have put in place a committee to investigate the matter…There are parts of the judgement which are not clear to me, so my lawyers are working on it.”