Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy to face probe in solar scam

Pinarayi Vijayan Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Oommen Chandy solar scam solar scam PROBE Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan Saritha Nair Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced the Kerala government’s decision to initiate a probe against former CM Oommen Chandy
Melinda Barton | 11 October, 2017, 16:24

In a setback to the Congress in Kerala, the LDF government on Wednesday ordered a series of inquiries, including vigilance inquiry, against former chief minister Oommen Chandy, his cabinet colleagues and other party leaders for their involvement in the solar scam.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the action was based on the report submitted by the Justice Shivarajan commission that probed the scam.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that he was not anxious about the solar commission report as he had not done anything wrong. The staff namely, Jikkumon Jacob, Salim Raj, Tenny Joppen and a friend Kuruvila, based at Delhi had aided the prime accused Saritha S. Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan and their company Team Solar to cheat people. Nair, in her letter, had complained of sexual exploitation.

On 26 September this year, the commission submitted a four-volume report, running into 1,073 pages, and its findings were disclosed in a press meet by Kerala chief minister Vijayan on Wednesday. A criminal case will be registered against former home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan for "destroying evidence and wrongly influencing police officials" while former power minister Aryadan Mohammed will face a Vigilance probe under corruption charges and a SIT probe.

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the announcement about the cases targeting Congress leaders at a time when the Vengara bypoll was on was a politically motivated move. Cases will also be registered against Congress leaders Thampannor Ravi and Benny Behnan.

The Vijayan government also made a decision to register a criminal case against all those whose names had appeared in a letter written by Saritha Nair in which she had complained of sexual exploitation. The two women were used by the firm to create political contacts with links even to the Chief Minister's office.

This after the commission report found he had attempted to protect Chandy. The judicial commission headed by retired Justice Sivarajan was constituted by the then Congress-led UDF government after intense protests from the Opposition in 2013. The investors said they had associated with the company because of Sarita S Nair, one of the founders, flaunted her high-level connections. They had got the contracts by claiming proximity to Mr Chandy.