Thiruvananthapuram: Scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely implicated in the ISRO spy case and exonerated by the Supreme Court in 1998, today demanded that the Centre initiate a high-level probe to unveil the conspiracy behind the case.
“After the probe, the persons who were responsible for initiating the case should be tried for treason under the National Security Act,” Narayanan, who spent 50-days in prison and lost his career as an ISRO scientist, told PTI on Friday.
Pointing a figure at former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar, who was Deputy Director (Intelligence Bureau) in Kerala when the case came up in 1994, Narayanan said ‘nothing would have happened without his knowledge.’
Referring to CBI’s closure report in the case, he said the agency had pointed out that senior IB officials Mathew John and R B Sreekumar had failed in their duty to conduct the inquiry in an objective and fair manner. Quoting from the report, he said it had stated the IB team inquiring into ISRO case had acted in an unprofessional manner and were privy to the arrest of six persons, thereby causing them immence mental and physical agony.
“Actually their target was ISRO and they succeeded in preventing the country from developing the cryogenic engine,” Narayanan, who was Project Director of Cryogenic Engine when he was implicated in the case, said. “If ISRO had achieved cryogenic engine technology, the organisation would by now have been in a position to return to government billions of Dollars,” he said referring to the commercial aspect of the technology.
The main objective of those behind the case was clear and it was to ‘demoralise’ Indian scientists, he pointed out.
The case pertains to charges of transfer of some secret documents on India’s space programme to foreign countries by two scientists and four others, including two Maldivian women. It was first investigated by the special investigation team and then handed over to CBI, which found no espionage as alleged had taken place.
The case also had political overtones as veteran Congress leader Karunakaran had to resign from the post of Chief Minister of Kerala in the wake of the case after a section of party leaders came out against him and accused him of shielding an officer allegedly involved in the case.
Asked about the case he had filed before a sub-court here, seeking Rs 1 crore compensation, Narayanan said, “The state government at least now should come forward to settle it as it has been proved in all judicial fora in the country that the case was a false one.”
The state government had paid recently Rs 10 lakh to Narayanan an interim relief after the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission. However the government has so far not taken a decision on CBI’s recommendations to act against Sibi Mathew (former ADGP and currently state Chief Information Commissioner) K K Joshua (then Superintendent of police) and S Vijayan (then Circle Inspector) to initiate disciplinary action against them, for their ‘unprofessional’ conduct of the ISRO probe.