He may have been awarded Rs 10 lakh by a court as damages but an embittered former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan says no amount of money can compensate the loss suffered by him for being falsely implicated in the sensational 1994 'ISRO espionage case'.
"No amount can compensate the loss suffered to my reputation, glory and profession, though the High Court decision came as a relief," Nambi Narayanan, whose career came to an abrupt end following the case, told PTI.
In a judicial relief that came after an 18-year-long wait, the Kerala High Court yesterday directed payment of Rs 10 lakh as compensation to him within three weeks, upholding the 2001 National Human Rights Commission decision which the state government had challenged.
Narayanan, who had played a key role in some of ISRO's major projects, including development of cryogenic technology, said it was quite impossible to hand over technologies through espionage.
He said the Rs ten lakh compensation was "an interim, immediate relief" granted by National Human Rights Commission. "I had filed a civil suit seeking Rs one crore as compensation from the state. The case is in the trial stage in a judicial magistrate court here. I will continue to pursue the matter for securing justice, for which I have been fighting for the last several years," he said.
The NHRC award came as a result of a petition filed by him and its decision was pronounced in 2001. Its implementation, however, got delayed with the state government challenging it in the courts, Narayanan said, and expressed the hope that government would take a positive decision on the Court order.
"I am sure that I have not done anything wrong. I have been wrongly implicated in the case. You can imagine, what they (authorities) would have done had there been an iota of evidence against the accused. Even without any evidence, they had done so much damage," he said.
"How could we have illegally transferred a technology developed with the dedication and hard work of a large number of scientists for several years through two women of mere school education? When the scandal broke out in mid-1990s, no one had bothered to ask this question to us," he said. Narayanan said the whole scandal appeared to be the result of a "conspiracy" to demoralise Indian scietists. Along with this, so many external factors, including political developments took place in Kerala at the time and served as catalysts to transform into a full-blown scandal, he added.
The Supreme Court had in 1998 found that the allegation of espionage was false and had ordered release of all accused-- Nambi Narayanan, another ISRO Scientist D Sasikumaran, two Bangalore based businessmen S K Sharma and Chandrasekharan, former IGP Ramon Srivastava and two Maldivian women Mariam Rasheeda and Fouzia Hassan.
Following the apex court verdict, Narayanan moved NHRC for compensation.