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Supreme Court appoints panel to look into ‘harrowing torture’ of Nambi Narayanan

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The Supreme Court has appointed a three-member panel headed by former judge to probe the alleged torture and harrowing arrest of former space scientist Nambi Narayanan in the ‘ISRO spy scandal’ which turned out to be fake.

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Leading the three-judge Bench, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, awarded Nambi Narayan Rs 50 lakh in compensation for the ‘mental cruelty’ he suffered all these years. According to reports, a probe has been ordered against the SIT officers who had framed the ISRO scientist in the espionage case. Referring to the current ruling, scientist Nambi said that the compensation given to him for his sufferings will not do justice.

The absolution comes almost a quarter of century after Mr Narayanan was convicted of being a spy. Nambi Narayanan was a top scientist in the ISRO before his arrest and detention. Following this false allegations, he bagn his legal battles in various forums for his honour and justice.

 

Retired Supreme Court judge DK Jain will head the three member panel. The panel will also have one officer each from Central and Kerala governments. The objective of the committee is to explore ways and means to bring juctice to the former space scientist, other than probing the officers who induced the ‘harrowing ‘incidents. The committee’s facilities and expenses will be taken care of by the Centre.

CJI Misra authored the verdict for the Bench, and said that mere monetary compensation was not enough for the ‘harrowing’ incidents of his life. CJI Misra was referring to the manner in which Mr Narayanan had argued himself in the court.

Ex ISRO scientist has accused the Kerala Police and the IB of torturing and extracting statements from him.

After being discharged in the case, Mr Narayanan had arraigned as parties former Kerala ADGP Siby Mathews, the State government, KK Joshwa and S Vijayan, both of whom had retired in senior position in the police.

After a Division Bench of the State High Court refused the plea of the former ISRO scientist, he then approached the apex court. Nambi is now in his seventies.

Nambi Narayanan had contended in his petition, the HC “failed to appreciate the real undercurrent that passed through the mind of the apex court, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the single judge of the High court in their verdict and on untenable reasons, quashed the order of the single judge.”

He challenged the lagality of the High Court Division Bench order and said it was ‘bad in law’. He argued that the order “would only encourage the unlawful action and mindset on the part of the Kerala police to harass innocent persons for extraneous considerations.”

In 1998 the apex court had directed the State Government to pay cost of Rs one lakh to Mr Narayanan who was discharged in the case, then.

Later, Mr Narayanan approached NHRC claiming for compensation against the State government for torture and mental agony suffered by him. After hearing both sides and taking into account the apex court judgment of April 29, 1998, the NHRC had awarded him an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh on March 14, 2001.

Also read: Section 377 Verdict: United Nations calls first step towards full fundamental rights to LGBT

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