A timeline of 1994 espionage case involving ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan

Following is the chronology of events in the 1994 espionage case in which the Supreme Court on Friday held that former ISRO scientist S. Nambi Narayanan was “arrested unnecessarily, harassed and subjected to mental cruelty” and ordered a probe into the role of erring Kerala police officers:

Oct 1994: Maldivian national Mariam Rasheeda arrested in Thiruvananthapuram for allegedly obtaining secret drawings of ISRO rocket engines to sell to Pakistan.

Nov: Nambi Narayanan, director of cryogenic project at ISRO, arrested along with deputy director of ISRO D. Sasikumaran and Indian representative of a Russian space agency K. Chandrasekhar. S.K. Sharma, a labour contractor, and Fousiya Hasan, Maldivian friend of Rasheeda are also arrested.

Jan 1995: ISRO scientists and businessmen released on bail; the Maldivian nationals continue to be in custody.

Apr 1996: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) files report before a Kerala court, says espionage case is false and there was no evidence to back the charges.

May: Court accepts the CBI’s report and discharges all accused.

Jun: Kerala government decides to conduct re-investigation of the case by the State police which was challenged by Chandrasekhar.

Nov: High Court of Kerala dismisses the challenge, upheld government’s notification which was later quashed by the Supreme Court.

May 1998: Supreme Court awards compensation of ₹1 lakh to Mr. Narayanan and others, who were discharged in the case; directs the state government to pay the amount.

Apr 1999: Mr. Narayanan approaches the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) claiming compensation from the state for the mental agony and torture suffered by him.

Mar 2001: NHRC awards an interim compensation of ₹10 lakh, asks the state to pay damages; government challenges the order.

Sep 2012: HC directs the state to pay ₹10 lakh to Mr. Narayanan.

Mar 2015: HC leaves it to the state government to consider or not the CBI’s report for taking disciplinary action against the erring police officers.

Apr 2017: The Supreme Court begins hearing on Mr. Narayanan’s plea, seeking action against former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews and others who had probed the matter.

May 3, 2018: Three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud says it is considering awarding Mr. Narayanan a compensation of ₹75 lakh and restoring his reputation.

May 8: SC says it is considering asking Kerala government to re-investigate role of SIT officers in the case.

May 9: SC says Mr. Narayanan has faced a dent in his reputation due to “malafide prosecution” and Kerala government cannot evade “vicarious liability” to grant him compensation.

Jul 10: SC reserves verdict on the plea; CBI tells SC it was ready for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations by Narayanan.

Sep 14: SC awards ₹50 lakh compensation to 76-year-old Mr. Narayanan for being subjected to mental cruelty in the ISRO spy case.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 12:11:23 AM |

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