Cop who framed me never said sorry, says Nambi Naraynan

Deccan Chronicle.  | Cynthia Chandran

Nation, Current Affairs

Ex-ISRO scientist says will not press charges against three officials.

Nambi Narayanan.

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Supreme Court came out with a historical judgment granting Rs 50 lakh compensation to former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was allegedly embroiled in the infamous spy case, he stated that he is “thoroughly happy”.  The 76-year-old’s 24-year-long crusade has not left him weary. He says it was his conscience and his faith which kept him going all these years. 
Will you be pressing any further charges against the three retired police officials in the SIT?
The Justice D.K. Jain Commission will be calling me, I guess. I am not going to press any charges against any of the three officers. Reason being that once the fight is over, there is nothing further to do. I don’t know whether it was deliberately “fabricated” against me or they were “forced” to do it. But one thing is clear: This has been plotted by former ADGP and head of the Special Investigation Team, Siby Mathews. I am clear that I should be talking about him and not about someone else. 

Did Siby Mathews ever apologize to you?
Well, I have neither told anyone nor written in my book, Ready to Fire – How India and I Survived the ISRO Spy Case, that Siby Mathews had apologised to me. He had come and met me thrice. He never apologised to me; he remained firm that he had not done any wrong. But do you think he came to meet me to ask, ‘How are you?’ He was feeling remorseful and was unable to sleep, I guess. 

Who are those “erring officials” mentioned in the Supreme Court judgment?
I feel that it is not only these three officials, Siby Mathews and two retired Superintendents of Police, K.K. Joshua and S. Vijayan, who have been termed as the “erring officials” by the Supreme Court, but the whole team comprising the Intell-igence Bureau and even veteran journalists. I guess the Jain committee appointed by the Supreme Court will approach everyone including those senior journalists.  I vividly remember with reprographic memory a person named Jayaprakash who was in the Intelligence Bureau team. In fact, I have mentioned in my book his “uncivilized barbarous approach” towards me. I included his name in my book so that at least his children realise what sort of a person he is. They are practicing and advocating false things. 

There were a dozen lawyers who had appeared for you in various courts. Since you recall the timeline of the spy case meticulously, any idea how much money you must have incurred over the last 24 years?
I am a very simple man. I have been a retiree for the last 17 years or rather out of work since then. I survive on my pension. All the lawyers who had taken up my case have reached the top echelons in the legal fraternity. Now I hope that my current lawyer Unnikrishnan, who has so far not taken any fees from me, will reach greater heights. I came to know about him when he ensured that the family members of the fishermen who lost their lives in the Enrica Lexie case got `1 crore compensation. When I told Unnikrishnan “I don’t know about your fees, and this is what I can give you”, he politely declined. Instead he said it is a privilege for him to appear for me in Supreme Court.

It was a historical judgment for your lawyer Unnikrishnan on Friday. But your absence was conspicuous there. What happened?
I was informed that my case would be taken by the three-member judges only on Thursday evening. I wanted to witness the proceedings. But unfortunately, air tickets were on the higher side. Usually, a ticket would be around Rs 8,000. That night, a ticket to New Delhi turned out to be Rs 16,000. And I don’t have that much of money.

Nambi Narayana’s fight

Oct. 20, 1994: Maldivian national Mariam Rasheeda arrested under Foreigners Act at Vanchiyoor police station. Police and Intelligence Bureau interrogates her, another case registered under Official Secrets Act alleging certain secrets and documents of ISRO had been leaked by scientists. Another Maldivian, Fousiya Hasan, arrested, case transferred to special investigation unit headed by DIG (Crimes) Siby Mathews.

Nov. 21, 1994: Isro scientist D. Sasikumar arrested for allegedly passing on documents to Maldivian nationals.

Nov. 30: Dr Nambi Narayanan arrested. Both were allegedly torture by police. Dr Narayanan spends 52 days in remand.

Dec. 4, 1994: Probe handed over to CBI.

May 2, 1996: Court admits CBI’s closure report giving clean chit. CBI points to lapses on the part of Siby Mathews, DySP K.K. Joshua and inspector S. Vijayan.

2001: Based on CBI report, Dr Narayanan moves National Human Rights Commission for `1 crore compensation. Commission orders `10 lakh interim compensation.

2011: Kerala government decides not to take action against police officials involved in the probe

2012: High court orders government to pay compensation without fail; government pays the money to Dr Nararyanan Dr Narayanan moves high court on government order not to take action against police personnel involved in investigation.

2015: HC division bench leaves it to government to take action against police personnel. Dr Narayanan moves SC.