New Delhi: Putting moral pressure on the government, a Law Ministry report has suggested that former ISRO chief Madhavan Nair should have been heard before an order blacklisting him along with three of his colleagues for their alleged involvement in the Antrix-Devas deal was issued. The report accessed by CNN-IBN says that a formal chargesheet should have been served to the four scientists blacklisted by the government.
Law Ministry sources told CNN-IBN that the scientists should be given a chance to present their side of the story.
The report further says that while there were no punitive action taken against the four scientists, they should have been given a second chance to put across their points. The report puts moral pressure on the government saying that the scientists deserved a post-decision opportunity.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that the government is likely to take a decision soon on the recommendations in the Law Ministry report.
The opinions were sought from the Law Ministry by the Department of Space in response to a letter from Madhavan Nair.
On whether action of excluding the 4 former ISR0 officers from re-employment was punitive in nature, the report says, "not punitive and scientists do not possess right to claim re-employment."
The report also elaborates that before taking action nature of charges should have been communicated to the scientists as it is the fundamental principle of natural justice.
On the specifics, the report, however, says that there was no formal inquiry and chargesheet needed in the case but the individual should have been given a chance to defend himself.
Madhavan Nair on Thursday claimed that the government failed to list the reasons for blacklisting him and 3 others, but the Law Ministry report said that the information was posted on the website.
"There are two committees on Antrix-Devas deal. The entire report of first committee has been put on the website, as far as the Pratyush Sinha report is concerned the conclusion part has been put in the website. We will definitely do justice to our scientists. A request has been made by him for another probe, it is in the domain of the government," MoS PMO V Narayansamy said.
Earlier, Nair rejected the Law Ministry's claims that it gave reasons for blacklisting him and three others. Speaking to CNN-IBN, he has demanded a fresh inquiry into the Antrix-Devas deal.
Following is the full transcript of the interview with G Madhavan Nair:
CNN-IBN: Do you feel vindicated by the Law Ministry note that you should be given a post retirement opportunity?
G Madhavan Nair: Certainly that remark is very welcome, but I'm wondering that after meting out the punishment, what is the point of asking for an explanation? I have been maintaining the stand taht the course of natural justice has not been followed and no legal procedure has been adopted in the Pratyush Sinha panel, so it is obvious that the report has to be set aside. If at all the government is serious about bringing out the facts they should order a fresh inquiry into the entire episode. I would stress that it is not only at the commencement of the Devas agreement but how it terminated. What the Law Ministry has brought out is tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of hidden actions by the Department of Space towards cancellation of agreement and they have not followed any rules in the cancellation of the Devas agreement.
CNN-IBN: The government says reasons for restrictions are already on the website? So don't you think you're not right in saying that you were not given reasons for blacklisting?
G Madhavan Nair: This is the biggest joke I've heard. The report was published two weeks after penalty. Is this legal procedure?
CNN-IBN: The Law Ministry note says that because you were retired, there is no need for a formal inquiry.
G Madhavan Nair: I am a free citizen of this country. How can the government or anybody take action without a chargesheet?
CNN-IBN: The Law Ministry says it has hurt your reputation? You feel vindicated by this as this is what you have been saying?
G Madhavan Nair: Yes, I am very happy that the government has understood the issue. I would say it is much more than any punitive action that one can think of. The blacklisting spoiled my reputation as well as the reputation of three of my colleagues. It is the highest order of punishment that can be meted out in a democratic country to a scientist.