The Kerala government on Tuesday sanctioned Rs 1.30 crore as compensation to former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan for being falsely implicated in an espionage case and the consequent wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.
The sanction comes after Nambi filed a petition in a Thiruvananthapuram sub-court.
Former Chief Secretary K Jayakumar was later directed to look into the issue. It was decided that Nambi Narayanan will withdraw his petition if adequate compensation was provided to him.
The money for the compensation has come from the Police Fund.
With this sanction, he has till now got Rs 1.90 crore as compensation, including Rs 50 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and Rs 10 lakh on the National Human Rights Commission orders.
In 2018, an apex court bench comprising then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud had directed for Rs 50 lakh compensation by the state government. The court also directed for the setting up of a committee to inquire into the role of officials who Narayanan said had falsely implicated him in the spy case.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the setting up of the panel and appointment of former Additional Chief Secretary VS Senthil as the state government representative on the committee, but nothing has been heard thereafter.
The apex court verdict came on a plea by Narayanan for a probe into the false case filed by the Kerala Police and other agencies.
The ‘erring’ officials included then Inspector General of Police Siby Mathews and then Deputy Superintendents of Police KK Joshua and S Vijayan.
The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when Narayanan was arrested on the charge of espionage along with another senior official, two Maldivian women and a businessman.
The CBI cleared him in 1995 and he has since then been fighting a legal battle against Mathews and the other officials who probed the case.
Narayanan approached the apex court after a Kerala High Court bench dismissed a single-bench order that directed the Kerala government to take action against three retired police officers who had implicated and arrested him.
So far, no action to that effect has taken place and it remains to be seen if the compensation amount would be recovered from the erring officials.