New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it may consider granting Rs 25 lakh as compensation to former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan and ordering a probe to ascertain the role of SIT officers who had framed him in the ISRO espionage case.
"I have served the nation. I am hurt. It was a fabricated case. I have suffered the agony for ten years. The CBI gave me the clean chit and the closure report was accepted by the Magistrate," the 76-year-old scientist told the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
"I seek compensation of Rs one crore and action against the (SIT) officers who framed me," Mr Narayanan, who has received Rs 10 lakh as compensation so far, said.
The bench, which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said, "it cannot go the extent of awarding Rs one crore as the public remedy compensation".
It, however, told the scientist that a total compensation of Rs 25 lakh can be granted to him and the state will be asked to find out and ascertain the role errant officers for framing him in the fake sensational case.
It further said that the compensation amount would be deducted from the salary or the pensionary benefits of the errant officers.
The counsel for CBI also said that the agency had found the case to be fake and filed the closure report which has already been accepted by the court.
The bench then asked the agency as to whether it conducted any investigation to find out and fix the responsibility of the errant officer. The CBI replied in negative.
The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on May 11.
Earlier, the court had said it would hear in detail the plea the former ISRO scientist seeking action against former DGP Siby Mathews and others who were part of an SIT which had probed the matter in which he was framed.
The 76-year-old former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan had filed an appeal against the judgement of division bench of the Kerala High Court which had said no action needed to be taken against the former DGP and two retired Superintendents of Police, KK Joshua and S Vijayan, who were held allegedly responsible by the CBI for his illegal arrest.
He has said the division bench had "failed to appreciate the real undercurrent that passed through the mind of the top court, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the single judge of high court in their verdict and on untenable reasons, quashed the order of the single judge".
The top court had in 1998 granted compensation of Rs one lakh to Narayanan and the others who were discharged in the case and directed the state government to pay the amount.
Later, Mr Narayanan had approached NHRC claiming compensation against the state government for mental agony and torture suffered by him.
The NHRC, after hearing both sides and taking into account the top court judgement of April 29, 1998 awarded an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh on March 14, 2001.