Now, 2 Maldivian women claim compensation in ISRO Spy case

Ever since the recently reopened ISRO spy case has been making headlines, on Wednesday the news is that the two accused Maldivian women have approached the apex court through the CBI seeking a compensation of Rs 2 crore each, sources said.

The ISRO spy case surfaced in 1994 when S. Nambi Narayanan, then a top scientist at the ISRO unit here, was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, two Maldivian women (Fousia Hassan and Mariam Rasheeda) and a businessman.

It was last month that the CBI 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.

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

Hassan is presently settled in Colombo, while Rasheeda is in Maldives.

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

The CBI team is now expected to fly out anytime now.

In their petition to the apex court which has been moved through the CBI, the two women have sought a compensation of Rs 2 crore each for wrongful confinement for over three years without facing trial.

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 allegedly misbehaved with her, then.

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 new CBI team arrived in August, here to work on the orders of the top court.

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 lakh as directed by the Supreme Court in 2018 and another Rs 10 lakh ordered by the National Human Rights Commission.

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