'Better now than earlier', says former ISRO scientist Nambi

Nambi Narayanan

Thiruvananthapuram: Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan Friday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict in the 1994 espionage case but stressed there should be a time-frame for the completion of the probe by the court-appointed panel.

The top court held that Narayanan was "arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty" in the case and ordered a probe into the role of Kerala Police officers in it.

Reacting to the apex court verdict, the 76-year old Narayanan said he felt "better now than earlier".

However, he added that there should be a time-frame for the completion of the probe by the panel appointed by the court.

On the compensation of Rs 50 lakh awarded to him, he said officials responsible for his arrest should be made to pay compensation amount and also the fine.

Former DGP Sibi Mathew, who headed the Special Investigation Team that probed the case and arrested Narayanan, refused to comment on the SC verdict.

Narayanan, who was arrested in the case, had to spend close to two months in jail and later it was found by the CBI that the espionage case was a false one.

The espionage case, which hit the headlines in 1994, pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space program 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, which found no espionage as was alleged to have taken place.

The scam also had its political fallout with a section in the Congress targeting then then Chief Minister late K Karunakaran over the issue, that eventually led to his resignation.

Reacting to the top court's order, K Padmaja, daughter of Karunakaran, said she was ready to depose before the panel, if summoned and reveal the names of people who were behind the case.

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