Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to honour ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan with Padma award for the insult and torture he was forced to undergo on false charges.

MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also requested the authorities concerned to pursue those who are responsible and holding them to account to make sure good wins over evil.

MP Rajeev said that Rs 50 lakh ordered by Supreme Court is no match to the insult that scientist Nambi Narayanan went through in the false espionage charges. The apex court had directed the Kerala government to pay the amount within eight weeks.

The court also formed a three-member committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge DK Jain to inquire into the role of Kerala police officers in the arrest and torture of the scientist. Compensation will be sourced from  KK Joshua, Sibi Mathews and S Vijayan.

Recently, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan had said that he had kept a pair of chappals ready in his home to slap the policemen-Intelligence Bureau officials, who had beaten him while in police custody. 

“When I was suffering in pain from the custodial torture, I cried and told them that they were doing it to a man, who had done nothing illegal. The IB men then told me if they would come to know that I’m innocent, they would come to my house and I can slap their face with chappals. Today, I’m completely acquitted. None of the IB men came to my house. If they come, I have kept the slippers ready to slap them,” Nambi Narayanan had said in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. 

“Then and now, police and IB knew very well that ISRO espionage case was a forged one. That is why the investigation team headed by Sibi Mathew wanted to meet me and persuaded Soorya Krishna Moorthy to make arrangements for the meeting. Otherwise, will Sibi Mathew have come forward to inquire about my wellness?” he had quipped.

“At least for now, people should know the truth behind this intention. Russia was ready to handover modern Cryogenic rocket technology to India. As its director, I was the person, who signed the deal for this. That is the truth. America had come out against this and India wanted to procure it at any cost. It was after this that Sibi Mathew’s team cooked up the case. They should now reveal the intention behind that. And, if they don’t, I hope that the Supreme Court-appointed committee would find this out,” he had said.

Timeline of Nambi Narayan: False claims on espionage charges

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:

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

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

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

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

May: Court accepted the CBI’s report and discharged all accused.

June: Kerala government decided to conduct re-investigation of the case by the state police, which was challenged by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

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

May 1998: Supreme Court awarded compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Narayanan and others, who were discharged in the case; directed the state government to pay the amount.

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

March 2001: NHRC awarded an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh, asked the state to pay damages; government challenged the order.

September 2012: High Court directed the state to pay Rs 10 lakh to Narayanan.

March 2015: High Court left it to the state government to consider the CBI’s report for taking disciplinary action against erring police officers.

April 2017: The Supreme Court began its hearing on 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 AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it is considering awarding Narayanan a compensation of Rs 75 lakh and restoring his reputation.

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

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

July 10: Supreme Court reserved its verdict on the plea; CBI told SC it was ready for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations made by Narayanan.

September 14: Supreme Court awarded Rs 50 lakh compensation to 76-year-old Narayanan for being subjected to mental cruelty in the ISRO spy case.