Arrest of scientist in ISRO spy case unnecessary: SC

Arrest of scientist in ISRO spy case unnecessary: SC

17 news, 7

Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan’s arrest in the 1994 alleged spy scandal was “needless and unnecessary”, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday and ordered Rs 50 lakh compensation for the scientist who had accused the police of falsely framing him in the case.

The top court also set up a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice DK Jain to inquire into the role of Kerala police officials in the arrest of the scientist at India’s space agency, ISRO, or Indian Space Research Organisation.

Reacting to the court order, Narayanan said, “I am happy justice has prevailed.” Former DG Police Sibi Mathew refused to comment.

The scientist was arrested after the Kerala police arrested Mariam Rasheeda, a Maldivian woman, on October 20, 1994. Though she was arrested for overstaying in India, police later accused her of being involved in a sex-spy scandal.

It was alleged that Rasheeda was the intermediary between the organisation and two more women. She was accused of passing on Isro’s cryogenic programme secrets to the women, who in turn supplied the same to Russia and Pakistan’s ISI.

Two years later, the CBI cleared all the accused, who were discharged in May 1996. CBI also filed a closure report before the court. But a change in the government re-opened the probe. The earlier consent given by the state to the CBI to investigate the case was withdrawn and the Kerala police...

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