Maldivian women seek compensation in ISRO spy case

The two Maldivian women involved in the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) spy case have now approached India's Supreme Court seeking compensation.

Ms Fousia Hassan and Ms Mariam Rasheeda are claiming that they were confined for over three years without facing trial and are demanding Rs2 crore ($370,000) each.

In their petition, which was sent through the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday, the pair have demanded that the compensation be recovered from the 18 officials who have now been named in the First Information report (FIR).

Last month the CBI registered an FIR at the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against the 18 people who had probed the case - including senior officers of the Kerala Police and Intelligence Bureau.

They were charged with conspiracy and fabrication of documents.

The spy case surfaced in 1994 when Mr S. Nambi Narayanan, then a top scientist at the ISRO unit in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, was arrested on charges of espionage along with another senior ISRO official, the two Maldivian women and a businessman.

The Supreme Court, when it decided to reopen the case last year, had asked all the accused and witnesses to inform the new CBI probe team if they had anything to say.

Ms Hassan currently lives in Colombo, while Ms Rasheeda is in the Maldives. CBI officials are set to record statements from them soon.

Ms Rasheeda has filed a separate case against former Kerala Police officer S. Vijayan who allegedly misbehaved with her.

The CBI freed Mr Narayanan in 1995 and since then he has been fighting a legal battle against former Kerala Police officers Siby Mathews, Vijayan and K.K. Joshua for falsely implicating him in the case.

Things changed for Mr Narayanan last year when the Supreme Court appointed a three-member committee headed by retired judge D.K. Jain to probe if there was a conspiracy among the police officers to falsely implicate him.

A CBI team has been re-investigating the case since last month.

Mr Narayanan received a compensation of Rs1.9 crore from various agencies, including the Kerala government, for suffering wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and humiliation.

Indo-Asian News Service

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