Nambi Narayanan wants action against police officers who allegedly framed him in 1994 spy scandal
As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conquers space in leaps and bounds, one of its old hands, S. Nambi Narayanan, has been haunting the Supreme Court corridors for the past two years seeking justice against Police Officers who allegedly framed him in the infamous 1994 spy scandal.
On Monday, a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan decided that the 76-year-old Narayanan has waited long enough. The Bench refused a plea for four weeks’ adjournment made by Mr. Narayanan’s rivals in court. Justice Misra scheduled the case for final hearing on February 24.
Mr. Narayanan has sought criminal action against former Kerala ADGP Sibi Mathew, K.K. Joshwa and S. Vijayan — both had retired in senior positions in the Police — for their alleged roles.
“It has been a long road to justice,” Mr. Narayanan, who stays in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, said outside the courtroom. He is visibly relieved that the case was not adjourned.
It has been 23 years since his legal battle began with his arrest in the scandal.
His counsel, advocate C. Unnikrishnan, calls his client an “investigator.” “While the others gave up, he did not,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Narayanan, one of the scientists who had worked on the cryogenic engine, was arrested in the espionage case in November 1994. The CBI, which got the case from the State Special Investigation Team, had recommended its closure and sought action against the police officers involved, Mr. Narayanan said in his petition.
The National Human Rights Commission, in March 2001, had ordered the government to pay Mr. Narayanan ₹10 lakh compensation for the mental agony, torture and social stigma he suffered.
A decade after the NHRC order, the government issued a Government Order in June 2011 closing the case against the police officers, saying they have retired and 13 years have passed since the arrest of Mr. Narayanan.
Subsequently, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, in March 2015, set aside a Single Judge order to take action against the police officers. Mr. Narayanan appealed against the Division Bench decision in the Supreme Court.
In July 2015, a Bench issued notice on Mr. Narayanan’s appeal seeking action against the police officers.
The Supreme Court had said the spy case fundamentally pertained to police atrocities. The court had pulled up the Kerala government for not taking any action against “erring” police officials for the illegal arrest of Mr. Narayanan.
Outside the courtroom, Mr. Narayanan’s conversation trails away from his case and a faint smile crossed his face as one of the journalists queried about the ISRO’s record launch recently.
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