The Supreme Court today awarded Rs 50 lakh compensation to former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan for being subjected to harassment in a 1994 ISRO spy case. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that Narayanan (76) was unnecessarily arrested, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty by the Kerala police in the case.
The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, ordered a probe into the role of Kerala police officers and set up a three-member panel headed by its former judge DK Jain to probe framing up of Narayanan in the spy case.
Narayanan had moved the Supreme Court contesting the Kerala High Court’s order, which said no action was required to be taken against the former DGP and two retired superintendents of police — KK Joshua and S Vijayan, who were later held responsible by the CBI for Narayanan’s illegal arrest in the case.
In 1998, the top court had granted compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Narayanan and others, who were discharged in the case, and directed the state government to pay the amount.
Later, the former ISRO scientist approached the NHRC claiming compensation from the state government for the mental agony and torture suffered by him. After hearing both sides and taking into account the SC’s 1998 order, the NHRC had in March 2001 awarded Narayanan an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh.