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Nambi Naraynan

Nambi Naraynan

“The cryogenic programme in India had gone back by several years after the case; the programme was my dream. I am not saying that all officials of the Intelligence Bureau or the police, who investigated the case, were guilty. But only one person, a senior officer who could control the investigation, was enough to deviate the course of the probe. I have a request to trace who all were they,”

  • S. Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was Friday compensated Rs 50 lakh by the Supreme Court for “unnecessary arrest, harassment and mental cruelty” in the infamous 1994 espionage case.
  • While working at ISRO, Narayanan was accused of selling vital secrets associated with Indian space technology to Pakistan.
  • Though he was later acquitted by a CBI court and the Supreme Court in 1998, he spent a total of 50 days in jail along with fellow scientist D Sasikumar and four other
  • He was born in 1941 in Kerala.His Hometown is Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu.He did his initial schooling from DVD Higher Secondary School and passed Mechanical Engineering From Madras University Narayanan hails from a middle-class family.
  • He would fight for two decades despite the Supreme Court clearing his name in 1998.But for him, the life of stress began a long time ago.
  • He has had a few rude shocks in his lifetime, the first one coming as a telegram when he was a young man in a Madurai college. His father, who took care of the family of five, had died.
  • Young Nambi had not expected it. He was till then a playful lad, who managed to „get through with good grades and ranks‟, as the old Nambi remembers, sitting at his home in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • “I was an 18-year-old boy with a sick mother and two sisters to get married. There began a difficult life. I worked in different firms. When other students took money from home, I sent some home. I always had a stressful life, one that was thrust upon me when my father died. I continued with it till this thing landed on me,” Nambi says.
  • He paints the spy case as a conspiracy against him and the ISRO through the collective efforts of agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in connivance with Indian police and intelligence officers. The case was produced out of thin air in order to stall India‟s rapid advancements in the development of an indigenous cryogenic rocket engine.
  • Narayanan introduced the liquid fuel rocket technology in India in the early 1970s, when A. P. J. Abdul Kalam‟s team was working on solid motors.
  • He foresaw the need for liquid fuelled engines for ISRO‟s future civilian space programmes. He was encouraged by the then ISRO chairman Satish Dhawan, and his successor U.R. Rao.
  • In 1992, ISRO finalised a deal with Russia for transfer of technology to develop cryogenic-based fuels. However, due to pressure from US and France on Russia, the deal was called off. Nonetheless, a new agreement with Russia was signed to fabricate four cryogenic engines without a formal transfer of technology.
  • Tenders were floated and a consensus had already been reached with Kerala Hitech Industries Limited (Keltch) which would have provided the cheapest tender for fabricating engines. But, at the peak of his career, the scientist got stuck in the „ISRO spy case‟.
  • in October 1994, Kerala police in Thiruvananthapuram had registered a case against Mariam Rasheeda, a Maldivian national, under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946 and Section 7 of the Foreigners Order, 1948.
  • The initial charges against her were of overstaying in India following the cancellation of her flight to Maldives. Following her interrogation, the police made out a case that she had contacted ISRO space scientists who were suspected of having transferred cryogenic engine technology to Pakistan through her. And the following month, the police arrested Narayanan and another ISRO scientist, D. Sasikumaran.
  • Within 20 days of the case being registered, the probe was handed over to the CBI. In 1996, it submitted its closure report in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Kochi, saying that the allegations of espionage were unproven and false.
  • In 1996, CPI (M) led government tried to reinvestigate the case, which was later quashed by the Supreme court on the scientists‟ appeal.
  • On 7 November 2013, Narayanan was made media discussion that he is seeking justice in this case and want to expose who were behind this conspiracy and said that this case will ‘discourage’ the youth.
  • On 14 September 2018, The Supreme Court on Friday appointed a three-member panel headed by its former judge to probe the “harrowing” arrest and alleged torture of former space scientist Nambi Narayanan in the ‘ISRO spy scandal’ that turned out to be fake.
  • A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also awarded Mr. Narayanan Rs. 50 lakh in compensation for the “mental cruelty” he suffered all these years.