Solar scam: Probe panel finds prima facie evidence against Chandy

Solar scam: Probe panel finds prima facie evidence against Chandy

The Justice G Sivarajan Commission report on Kerala's multi-crore solar scam was on Thursday tabled in the Assembly during a special session.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the commission found that former chief minister Oommen Chandy, ministers and MLAs helped key accused Saritha S Nair in cheating customers of her company, Team Solar.

The commission found prima facie evidence to back Saritha's claims that Chandy's office assisted her in establishing her business.

Chandy has repeatedly denied having any association with Saritha. The CPM-led government is set to act on the commission's recommendation to invoke provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against all accused.

The Opposition Congress hit back saying the report did not go beyond allegations raised by Saritha.

"The commission has already found that the then 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 on his part" to ensure that Chandy is extricated from criminal liability through police officers under him.

The commission also found the then power minister Aryadan Muhammad to have assisted Team Solar in furthering its interests.

It panel said the Special Investigation Team probing the cases used "dubious methods" to ease Chandy out of the investigations.

The solar scam pertains to cases against Saritha and her former partner Biju Radhakrishnan for having lured people into investing in proposed solar and wind energy projects.

The duo established a business by citing contacts Chandy's office and ministers in the then Congress-led United Democratic Front government. Saritha and Biju were arrested in 2013.

Saritha has alleged that Chandy accepted Rs 2.16 crore as bribe from her and in return, assured high-profile projects and incentives, including government subsidies.

Saritha also levelled serious charges, including sexual abuse, against Chandy and senior Congress leaders Aryadan Muhammad, former minister of state K C Venugopal, former ministers A P Anilkumar and Adoor Prakash, and Kerala Congress (M) MP Jose K Mani.

The commission based its probe into the allegations of sexual abuse 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.

Reacting to the probe report, Chandy said: "One wonders if this is the solar probe report or Saritha report. Her letter has been reproduced twice in the report. The commission has not found any wrongdoing."

 

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