ISRO spy case ‘victim’ Fousia Hassan dead

Maldivian national Fousia Hassan, who was in the news during the height of the ISRO spy case here in 1994, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Colombo where she was undergoing treatment.

Although a Maldivian national, she was based in Colombo and was recently in the news after Hassan and Mariam Rasheeda, another Maldivian national who was also accused in the spy case, approached the Supreme Court through the CBI seeking a compensation of Rs 2 crore each for being wrongly implicated in the case.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when S. Nambi Narayanan, a top scientist at the ISRO unit here, was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior officials of the space agaency, Hassan, Rasheeda and a businessman.

In September 2021, the CBI had registered an FIR at the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court against 18 people, all of whom had probed the case and included top former Kerala Police and IB officials, who have been charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

When the apex court decided to reopen the case, it asked all then accused and witnesses to inform the new CBI probe team if they have anything to say.

Incidentally had it not been for the Covid lockdown norms, the CBI team was to travel to Colombo to take a statement from Hassan and then from Rasheeda.

Things changed for Narayanan when the Supreme Court in 2020 appointed a three-member committee headed by retired judge Justice D.K. Jain to probe if there was a conspiracy among the then police officials to falsely implicate Narayanan.

The CBI freed Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against Mathews, S. Vijayan and Joshua who probed the case and falsely implicated him.

Narayanan has now received a compensation of Rs 1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government which in 2020 paid him Rs 1.3 crore and later awarded Rs 50 lakhs as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakhs ordered by the National Human Rights Commission.

The compensation was because the former ISRO scientist had to suffer wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.

Now with Hassan dead, it remains to be seen the fate of the petition.

They have demanded that the compensation be recovered from the 18 officials who have now been named in the FIR.

Rasheeda has filed another petition to register a separate case against then probe official S. Vijayan who had allegedly misbehaved with her.

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