THRIUVANANTHAPURAM: Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan said Friday the espionage case filed against him by the Kerala police was "fabricated" and welcomed the Supreme Court ruling that he was "arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty".
He insisted the technology he was accused to have stolen and sold in the 1994 case did not even exist at that time.
Narayanan said he would take "rest" after fighting the legal battle for 24 years.
"The Supreme Court has clearly stated that it was an illegal arrest. It also identifies and acknowledges the suffering and humiliation I have gone through."
"The highest court of the country has accepted what I said. They (Kerala police) fabricated the case. The technology they said I stole and sold did not even exist then," he said responding to the order.
The Supreme Court while ordering a probe into the role of the Kerala police Wednesday awarded Rs 50 lakh as compensation to the 76-year-old Narayanan for being subjected to mental cruelty and asked the state government to pay it to him within eight weeks.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, formed a three-member panel headed by its former judge D K Jain to probe the framing of Narayanan in the case.
Narayanan had approached the apex court against the judgement of the Kerala High Court, which said no action was required to be taken against former DGP Siby Mathews and two retired superintendents of police K K Joshua and S Vijayan, who were later held responsible by the CBI for the scientist's illegal arrest.
"Till the age of 53, I worked for the organisation (ISRO). After that, for 24 years, I worked for this case. I am now going to take rest," Narayanan told PTI, calling the court battle a "tough fight" where he was "alone".
The scientist said he would now devote himself to his family, which he neglected all these years.
When asked if he had got justice with the Supreme Court's order, he said it was "very difficult" to answer the question.
"If somebody asks me are you happy that you have received Rs 50 lakh as compensation. Even with Rs 50 crore I cannot be happy. You cannnot buy my happiness with money. I will be happy with just Rs 5. So, I cannot equate my happiness with this money, I cannot equate my torture with this money," he said.
The espionage case pertained to allegations of transfer of certain confidential documents on India's space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women.
Narayanan said he felt "better now than earlier" and demanded that there be a deadline for the Supreme Court- appointed panel to complete its probe.
He said the officials responsible for his illegal arrest should be made to pay him the Rs 50 lakh compensation awarded by the Supreme Court.
Former DGP Sibi Mathew, who headed the Special Investigation Team that investigated the case and arrested Narayanan, refused to comment on the SC verdict.
Narayanan had to spend close to two months in jail before the CBI concluded the allegations against him were false.
The case had a political fallout in Kerala with a section of Congressmen rallying against the then chief minister late K Karunakaran.
They claimed Karunakaran was shielding Raman Srivastava, an IG rank officer whose name also cropped up in the case.
Karunakaran had to step down in March 1995 and A K Antony succeeded him.
Srivastava later retired as the state's police chief and is now advisor to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on police matters.
Reacting to the SC order, K Muraleedharan, Congress leader and son of Karunakaran, said his father was the "only victim" in the espionage case who did not get justice.
The conspiracy behind the case would be known when the judicial panel questions the officers involved in it, Muraleedharan, a former state Congress president, said.
He alleged P V Narasimha Rao, the then prime minister, "betrayed" his father and used the case to oust him.
Karunakaran's daughter K Padmana, also a Congress leader, said she would "reveal" the names of those who hatched the conspiracy to the judicial commission.