Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday directed payment of Rs. 10 lakh to ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan as damages for being falsely implicated in the ISRO espionage case in 1994.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the government was ordering immediate release of the interim compensation awarded by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against background of criticism that the government was delaying the payment.

Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said that the government would examine the circumstances under which the government had withdrawn action, recommended by the CBI, against police officers who had implicated Mr. Narayanan.

It may be recalled that the State government had challenged the award of compensation ordered by the NHRC in 2001 before the High Court; but the Court upheld the award in an order last month. The espionage case was first investigated by the Kerala police and then handed over to the CBI. The CBI found that no espionage had taken place as alleged. Following his acquittal in the case, Mr. Narayanan moved the NHRC for compensation.