Post-trial by fire, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan wins fight for justice

Branded a spy in the infamous ISRO spy scandal of 1994 but fully exonerated by the Supreme Court four years later — the past 24 years have been an excruciating trial by fire for Nambi Narayanan.

Published: 15th September 2018 06:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2018 07:20 AM   |  A+A-


Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan checking his phone on 14 September 2018 after the Supreme court verdict ordering compensation for him for being falsely accused in the ISRO spy case. (Photo | BP Deepu/ EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now that the anxiously-awaited Supreme Court verdict has finally come, S Nambi Narayanan says it is high time he did something that he has been putting off for 24 years.
“I’ve not spent time with my family. Now I want to do that. What little is left of my life, I want to spend with them. I don’t want to pursue this any further,’’ he said on Friday.

For the former scientist —branded a spy in the infamous ISRO spy scandal of 1994 but fully exonerated by the Supreme Court four years later — the past 24 years have been an excruciating trial by fire. Although the CBI and Supreme Court had cleared him of all charges by 1998, “a necessity’’ had made him continue to his lone fight for justice, particularly against the police officers responsible for his incarceration, Narayanan said, seated at ‘Sangeetha’, his home at Eanchakkal.

At one point back then, he recalls, he had even contemplated suicide. But his children, suspecting that their father might take that step, dissuaded him from it. “They said you’re the only person who can prove your
innocence. If you die, we’ll die as the children of a spy. That’s how I got the determination to fight. I was determined to prove my innocence. More than that, it had become a necessity,’’ he said.

‘Nambi was a victim of malicious prosecution
New Delhi: The apex court said Nambi Narayanan was arrested unnecessarily and was a victim of malicious prosecution. The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered the Kerala government to cough up the compensation in eight weeks.

Timeline of the case

  • October 20, 1994: State police arrests Mariam Rasheeda, a Maldivian woman for overstaying her visa period 

  • November 30, 1994: Nambi Narayanan arrested

  • April, 1996: CBI recommends action against Siby Mathews, K K Joshua and S Vijayan

  • 1998: SC upholds CBI conclusions; exonerates Narayanan, others

  • December, 1997: E K Nayanar, then CM, decides not to close the file on the CBI recommendation

  • June 29, 2011: Oommen Chandy government decides not to take any action against Mathews, Joshua and Vijayan. Narayanan challenges it in court

  • September 2012: Kerala High Court upholds NHRC ruling that Narayanan be paid I10 lakh as interim relief

  • October 15: NHRC issues show-cause notices to Siby Mathews, Joshua and Vijayan as to why action should not be recommended against them

  • June 2015: Narayanan approaches SC after High Court rules out action against police officers

  • September 2018: SC orders compensation of I50 lakh and formation of judicial commission

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  • T M Ramesh

    This shows how police & kerala govt. act who have been notorious for Rajan's case. These heartless beasts can stoop down to any level & tarnish anyone who comes in the way. They can demoralise even the noblest of souls. the Scamgress KK & OC are examples of inhuman CMs who blatantly protect the police personnel who are treated like slaves in Kerala. Kerala government & police dept. are hand in glove for various nefarious activities & ruining of God's own country. I'm sure all these culprits will be brought to justice sooner !!!
    5 months ago reply
  • Ram

    Amazing fight and nice to see truth prevailing. A rare yet positive situation in this country. Truth will prevail.
    5 months ago reply
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