ISRO Case: High Court Ordered Compensation For Nambi Narayan




വിവാദമായ ഐഎസ്ആര്‍ഒ ചാരക്കേസില്‍ നമ്പി നാരായണന് നഷ്ടപരിഹാരം നല്‍കാന്‍ ഹൈക്കോടതി ഉത്തരവിട്ടു. പത്ത് ലക്ഷം രൂപ നഷ്ടപരിഹാരം നല്‍കണമെന്ന മനുഷ്യാവകാശ കമ്മീഷന്‍ വിധി കോടതി ശരിവെച്ചു. നിയമവ്യവസ്ഥയില്‍ വിശ്വാസമുണ്ടെന്ന് നമ്പി നാരായണന്‍ പ്രതികരിച്ചു.

Nambi Narayanan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
S. Nambi Narayanan is an Indian scientist. As a senior official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), he was in-charge of the cryogenics division.[1] In 1994, he was falsely charged with espionage and arrested. The charges against him were dismissed by the CBI in 1996, and the Supreme Court declared him not guilty in 1998.

Career

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. Narayanan developed liquid propellant motors, first building the successful 600-kg thrust engine in the mid-1970s and thereafter moving on to bigger engines.
After working for nearly two decades, with French assistance, his team developed the Vikas engine used by several ISRO rockets including the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) that took Chandrayaan-1 to the moon in 2008. The Vikas engine is used in the second stage of PSLV and as the second and the four strap-on stages of Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).[2]

Espionage charges

In 1994, Narayanan was falsely charged with leaking vital defense secrets to two alleged Maldivian intelligence officers, Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan. Defense officials said the secrets pertained to highly confidential "flight test data" from experiments with rocket and satellite launches. Nambi Narayanan, was among two scientists (the other being D Sasikumaran) that were accused of selling ISRO secrets for millions. However, his house seemed nothing of the ordinary and did not show signs of the opulence he was accused of stolen.[3]
Narayanan was arrested and spent 50 days in jail. He says that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials who interrogated him wanted him to make false accusations against the top brass of ISRO. He alleges that two IB officials had asked him to implicate A E Muthunanakom, his boss and then Director of the Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC). When he refused to comply, he was tortured until he collapsed and was hospitalised.[4] He says his main complaint against ISRO is that it did not support him. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, who was ISRO chairman at the time stated that ISRO could not interfere in a legal matter.
In May 1996, the charges were dismissed as phony by the Central Bureau of Investigation. They were also dismissed by the Supreme Court of India in April 1998. In September 1999, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) passed strictures against the government of Kerala for having damaged Narayanan’s distinguished career in space research along with the physical and mental torture to which he and his family were subjected. After the dismissal of charges against them, the two scientists, Sasikumar and Narayanan were transferred out of Thiruvananthapuram and were given desk jobs.[5]
In 2001, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ordered the Kerala State Government to pay him a compensation of INR 1 crore (10 million).[6] He retired in 2001. The Kerala High Court ordered a compensation amount of Rs 10 lakhs to be paid to Nambi Narayanan based on a appeal from NHRC India in September 2012.
 ========================================================================


The scientist who wasn't a spy


15

Nambi Narayanan has lived an extraordinary life. Branded a spy in 1994, the Isro scientist has fought hard for his honour. The recent Kerala HC order for monetary compensation to him has brought a little more cheer to the man who says he's now ready to bring his tormentors to justice and expose the conspiracy against India's ambitious cryogenic project

They began their scientific careers as the two bright stars of India's space research programme . Later, of course, APJ Abdul Kalam's and S Nambi Narayanan's lives would go on separate trajectories and their stories would read very differently.
Kalam, who was working on the solid propulsion system in the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), went on to become a much-loved President of India. S Nambi Narayanan, who was working on the liquid propulsion system — the technology was successfully used in many satellite missions — during the same period, was branded a spy and traitor, his scientific career dented forever even as he fought against an unjust system to prove his innocence.
Narayanan, along with six others, including his Isro colleague D Sasikumar, was arrested on November 30, 1994 on charges of espionage and for selling defence secrets to two Maldivian women, Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan.

He spent 50 days in jail after that and lived in anxiety and ignominy until the Supreme Court cleared him of the charges in 1998. But even after that he never got to work in the prestigious cryogenics field at ISRO. Last week, the Kerala high court upheld an order of the National Human Rights Commission directing the state to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the scientist for implicating him in a false case. But that doesn't really mean much to him now.
Sitting in his spacious living room, at West Fort in Thiruvananthapuram, amidst rocket models and European paintings, 71-year-old Narayanan resembles Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the tortured Russian Noble Prize-winning author who was expelled from the Soviet Union. "They framed me in a false case, perhaps to destroy India's space research program which was moving at a fast pace," he says in a soft voice, caressing his long, grey beard that shines in the morning sun.
In those dark days, the media so convincingly printed and parroted everything that one particular police inspector said that even educated Keralites began believing the concocted stories that detailed illicit links between a scientist and a couple of random Maldivian women. The controversy was soon used by a section of Congress politicians to tarnish the image of then chief minister K Karunakaran , who was already embroiled in what was called the Palmolein scam.
"I spent 50 days in jail and the state police pressured me to say that even the Isro top brass was involved," says Narayanan. The case was later taken over by the CBI which found no evidence, and said it was fabricated. This was later upheld by the Supreme Court. But it may not be closure yet for Narayanan as the identity of key players who fuelled the case still remains in the dark. Also, the question remains unanswered whether it was merely an unfortunate chain of events or if there was a larger game plan.
Narayanan, personally, believes in the role of some external agencies which wanted to halt India's cryogenic space research programme. "We can now put the jigsaw puzzle together if we can look at what was happening internationally at that time as India was cutting into a billion dollar space industry poised to take off with its cryogenic engine research," he says.
Police inspector Vijayan, who registered the first case against the two Maldivian women for overstaying, and the vernacular media which printed verbatim what the state police said, were perhaps minor characters in a larger international conspiracy.
India, by the early 1990s, had developed its own solid and liquid fuel and was able to put its satellites in orbits up to 800km. But the ultimate challenge was to develop a cryogenic engine that would propel heavy rockets with payloads of more than three tonnes to the geo-synchronous orbit, 36,000 km away from earth. These satellites would then provide accurate geo-spatial images of earth and would usher in a path-breaking revolution in telecommunication and media. Cryogenics, the science of extreme low temperatures, has been a tricky one for rocket scientists across the world.
"At stake was a 300 billon dollar space research and applications industry which was in the hands of five nations — the US, France, China, Russia, and Japan. Almost every major country wanted to put its own satellites in the orbit and they could do it only with the help of these five nations,'' says J Rajashekaran Nair, who authored Spies from Space: The ISRO Frame-up .
In 1992, India signed an agreement with Russia for transfer of technology to develop cryogenic-based fuels. The agreement was signed for Rs 235 crore, when the US and France were offering the same technology for Rs 950 crore and Rs 650 crore respectively. "Documents show that US president George Bush (Sr) wrote to Russia, raising objections against this agreement and even threatening to blacklist the country from the select-five club,'' Rajashekaran says.
Russia, under Boris Yelstin, succumbed to the pressure and denied cryogenic technology to India. To bypass this monopoly, India signed a new agreement with Russia to fabricate four cryogenic engines after floating a global tender without a formal transfer of technology.'
Isro had already reached a consensus with Kerala High Tech Industries Limited (Keltch) which would have provided the cheapest tender for fabricating engines . But this did not happen as the spy scandal surfaced in late 1994. "If you look at the people who were arrested in the case, they were all connected in some way in developing or procuring the technology . We cannot rule out foul play by an external agency," says Rajashekaran.
The plot, says Narayanan, was to tarnish the image of a premier research institution. "How could we have leaked out cryogenic missile technology when we did not even possess one? But what we lost in the process was years of hard work to revolutionise our space research , and the credibility and morale of our scientific community. And on a personal level, it ruined the lives of six families who were dragged into the case for no fault of theirs.'' 
=========================================================================
 

Mohanlal To Play Espionage Accused ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan


Malayalam star Mohanlal and Professor Nambi Narayanan.
Malayalam star Mohanlal and Professor Nambi Narayanan.
He was the star-scientist at the Indian Space Research Space Organization (ISRO) at Thiruvnanthpuram. And then it all went poof!
In 1994 Nambi Narayanan, to whom goes the credit for introducing the liquid-fuel rocket technology in India, was charged with leaking defence secrets to foreign countries.
A charge that the distinguished scientist fought valiantly and won. Now the retired scientist is exonerated of all guilt. But at what cost!
Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan who has completed two outstanding bio-pics about unsung heroes Sindhutai Sapkal and Gour Hari Prasad, is all set to tell the tale of the trauma and agony of a national hero who fell from grace, fought back and redeemed his tarnished reputation.
Last week the Kerala High Court awarded Rs 10 lakhs as compensation to Prof. Narayanan, a decision the aggrieved scientist applauded. But he also added that no money can bring back his tarnished image.
Three weeks ago Mahadevan secretly flew down to Trivandrum to spend four days with Nambi Narayanan. The director has returned laden with 8 hours of recorded interviews with the exiled scientist.
Impressed immensely, Mahadevan says, “What left a deep impact on me was this amazing genius’ determination to win back his reputation. He did it. He brought his powerful adversaries to their knees. It is a truly inspiring story, and one that I am going to tell. Yes, I’ve spent ample time with Prof Narayanan. I’ve come back with eight hours of recorded conversations that are stunning in their resonances regarding this nation’s penchant for unmaking heroes whimsically.”
Ananth found Nambi Narayanan to be, “a very venerable gentleman and thinker who looks like Sir Richard Attenborough.” Prof. Narayanan has not only agreed to let Mahadevan tell his story he has also consented to be an active part of the filmmaking process.
Says the excited director, “He was at first skeptical and almost dismissive. ‘How can you bring together my life’s stories without making the powers-that-be look compromised?’ I assured him I could do it. He was only convinced after I showed him my two films Red Alert and Sidhubai Sapkal.”
Happily, Malayali legend Mohanlal has agreed to play Nambi Narayanan. “He heard the subject and said he’s on. Now I am getting ready to shoot at some difficult locations,” enthuses the director.
Apparently Ananth Mahadevan is keen to shoot at ISRO where the scientist was disgraced. The Organization has understandably demurred at the director’s request.
The bio-pic entitled ‘The Witch Hunt’ would be shot in Hindi and Malayalam.

=========================================================================

News » States » Kerala

A shattered man now sits cool and detached

Special Correspondent
Share  ·   Comment (14)   ·   print   ·   T+  
S. Nambinarayanan speaks to The Hindu Photo: S. Gopakumar
The Hindu S. Nambinarayanan speaks to The Hindu Photo: S. Gopakumar
Two persons with whom this reporter makes enquiries do not know where he lives. They have all forgotten him.
Fortunately, the gate proudly wears a name board: ‘S. Nambinarayanan.’ He sits on a sofa in his dim lit drawing room, cool and detached. The news about the verdict of a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court ordering the State to pay him an interim immediate relief of Rs.10 lakh for defaming him with the infamous ISRO spy scandal case, mixing sex and international espionage, has just hit the screens of television channels. But, his television is switched off.
A crew from a channel too is immediately in. He tells the young television reporter what it is all about. “I was arrested, charged in the ISRO spy scandal case on November 30, 1994.” He remembers all the dates. “The court freed me of the charges on April 29, 1998.”
“The National Human Rights Commission ordered payment of compensation of Rs.1 crore to me in March, 2001, of which Rs.10 lakh was to be paid immediately. The State does not want to admit they have falsely done it to me. So the fight continues,” he says.
“Do you think someone has conspired?” asks the reporter. He smiles, as though at his grandson. “Those things happened 18 years ago. You were a child then. The compensation award came 12 years ago. The expression used was ‘to pay an immediate interim relief of Rs.10 lakh.’ So the word ‘immediate’ means 12 years up to the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court.”
He says he knows the case will now go to the Supreme Court. “That is how it is,” he says.
“What you have to do, you have to do. There was a time when I was shattered. My professional life as a good ISRO scientist was shattered. My personal life was shattered. My wife had problems.”
He does not elaborate, but the day he was arrested there was a big crowd at his gates and people were pushing to break the police cordon and throwing punches at him as he was being taken to the police jeep. “I have written all that in my book. It is in the manuscript stage,” he says.
“Whatever one does in life is a repetition of what one has done several times in one’s life. The character never changes. You may not understand it, but you will be doing the same things again and again.”
“My life had two stages so far. I was a scientist. The only thing then was the profession. My career suddenly came to an end, and from then on this is what I do. We don’t choose…and we don’t back out either… It is not the compensation. We don’t buckle,” he says.

 ========================================================================

Mathrubhumi
Monday, September 24, 2012
Compensation for Nambi Narayanan in ISRO espionage case
Posted on: 08 Sep 2012

Kochi: The Kerala High Court upheld the order of National Human Rights Commission ordering a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to Scientist Nambi Narayanan in connection with the ISRO espionage case. The court has asked to pay the amount within three months.
Meantime, the court rejected the order seeking steps against the investigating officials in the case.
The incident happened in November 1994. It was alleged that two scientists of ISRO–Nambi Narayanan and D Sasikumaran sold space secrets for money to two women of Maldives.
When contacted, Nambi Narayanan said legal steps will continue in the case. Revelations on the case will be included in the book written by him, he said.
==============================================================================

The Times of India
Special Report

The Times of India

You are here: Home » Sunday TOI » Special Report

‘My book will name the people who framed me’


4

You were heading India's cryogenic project when you were arrested. How did the project suffer?

S Nambi Narayanan: I have every reason to doubt that an external force has tried to destabilise our space programme. But I will not mention any particular country or agency, because I and my family have suffered enough. But if you look at the circumstances, countries like the US were dead against India signing a deal with Russia on the transfer of cryogenic technology. They would have lost a billion dollar business, as every country today wants to launch their own satellites into the geosynchronous orbit. When I was interrogated by the state police, they pressured me to put the blame on the Isro chairman. I did not succumb to pressure . Come to think of it, these are not isolated incidents. The mysterious deaths of eminent scientists like Vikram Sarabhai (his postmortem was not conducted ) and Homi Bhabha are classic examples.

You are writing a book on the issue. Will it have details of what actually happened ?

S Nambi Narayanan: Yes. In that book I will name those people who framed me for selfish motives , and the conspiracy to tarnish the image of Isro. The book will also speak about the generosity and kindness of some senior space scientists. My wife still has not completely recovered from the shock. There were moments when I thought I should end my life, but I knew if I did that I would die as a spy and the truth would be buried forever.

You were a contemporary of Abdul Kalam and in many ways made a larger contribution in terms of developing liquid fuel ...

I have great regard for Abdul Kalam. He was one amongst the few along with U R Rao, who came out in the open to say that I was innocent. But the scientific community was too stunned to react. Kalam, the pragmatic man he is, told me to leave everything to God. But I had decided to fight and clear my name from this fabricated case. I had spent my entire life for scientific research work. My mother died on a Saturday, yet, I was back to work on Monday.

Do you regret that now?

S Nambi Narayanan: I do regret that I did not spend time with my family and groom my children . The unscrupulous vernacular media gave me a grand title: Charan (spy). They did not check facts, but just printed the version handed out by the state police. The state police arrested me on the same day (November 30, 1994) when they recommended my case to be transferred to the CBI. The police did not even bother to raid my house before or after the arrest.

What are your future plans?

S Nambi Narayanan: I will see to it that the people who implicated me go behind bars and I am adequately compensated for the mental trauma. The government should probe into the case in detail and find out the real culprits. After passing out from Princeton University, where physicists like Albert Einstein worked, I was offered lucrative jobs in NASA and a US citizenship but I came back as I felt I should be part of the nascent space research programme in India. We started with just 26 people and now Isro has grown to 26,000 people. My book will speak about everything, including my years, during which I had an opportunity to i n t e r a c t with eminent scie n t i s t s l i ke Vi k r a m S a r ab h a i , Satish Dhawan and U R Rao.