Chandy, Congress leaders aided solar scam accused: panel

Chandy, Congress leaders aided solar scam accused: panel

The report of the Justice G Sivarajan Commission on Kerala's multi-crore solar scam was tabled in the state Assembly on Thursday.

Making an introductory statement detailing the Commission's findings, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the panel found that former chief minister Oommen Chandy, ministers and MLAs helped key accused Saritha S Nair in cheating customers of Team Solar.

The CPM-led government is set to act on the Commission's recommendation to invoke provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against all those accused of corruption and illegal gratification.

"The Commission has already found that the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and through him, his personal staff Tenny Joppan, Jikkumon Jacob, gunman Salimraj and his aide in Delhi, all had assisted Saritha and her company in enabling them to cheat their customers," the report said.

The Commission found that the then home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan made "all efforts from his part" to ensure that Chandy is extricated from criminal liability through police officers under him.

The Commission also stated that  former  power minister Aryadan Muhammad assisted Team Solar in furthering its interests. It said the Special Investigation Team probing the cases used "dubious methods" to ease Chandy out of the probe.

The solar scam pertains to cases against Saritha and her former partner Biju Radhakrishnan who are accused of luring people into investing in proposed solar energy projects. The duo had cited to investors their contacts with the office of Chandy, the then chief minister, and other senior leaders of the Congress-led United Democratic Front. Saritha and Biju were arrested in 2013. Following Chandy's denial of the allegations, Saritha turned whistleblower, making serious charges – including sexual abuse – against Chandy and senior leaders including former minister of state K C Venugopal and former ministers A P Anilkumar and Adoor Prakash.

The Commission based its probe into the sexual allegations on a letter Saritha had written, from prison, on July 19, 2013. The report states that persons mentioned in the letter maintained telephonic contacts with Saritha and her advocate.

OPPOSITION PROTEST

The Congress-led opposition accused the chief minister of having breached privileges of the House by revealing contents of the report, during a media interaction last month, before it was tabled in the Assembly.

The Commission submitted the four-volume, 1,073-page report on September 26, formally bringing to close a four-year probe.

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