Scientist Nambi Narayananan in a conversation with NDTV
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the state government's decision of not taking any action against the investigating officers of the 1994 ISRO espionage case was only a continuation of the previous LDF government's stand.
In 1994, officers from the Kerala police had alleged that ISRO scientist Nambi Narayananan along with a colleague and four others, including two Maldivian women, had transferred certain secret documents on India's space programme to foreign countries. The case was first investigated by state police and later handed over to the CBI, which found no espionage as alleged had taken place. In 1998, the Supreme Court also dismissed the charges.
The Kerala High Court last month had ordered the government to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Mr Narayananan for being falsely implicated in the case.
The present government is being criticised for inaction against the investigating officers, who initially probed the case and accused Mr Narayananan and others of espionage. Sources in the Kerala government have told NDTV that neither any court nor Chief Judicial Magistrate has ever asked for any action. The Home Ministry's report during LDF regime, accessed by NDTV, states 'any action taken against the investigating officers will be unjust'. This was approved by the former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The matter was later referred by the then Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan to the Advocate General. The Advocate General's report states the investigating team itself recommended handing over of the matter to CBI. This report was later approved by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on June 5 2011.
Confidential document accessed by NDTV states "though there were procedural lapses on the part of the officers, the DGP proposed not to take any further action against the police officers."
Congress MLA Murlidharan in a letter to the Chief Minister earlier had asked why a decision was taken to close the case against the three investigating officers in a hurry. He had alleged his father, former Chief Minister Karunakaran, was a victim and PV Narasimha Rao was the man behind a possible political conspiracy.
The Chief Minister while addressing the media said that the matter is being investigated and the government will not shy away from probing any aspect related to the matter.