Kerala solar scam case: Oommen Chandy, other leaders in trouble

Kerala solar scam case: Oommen Chandy, other leaders in trouble

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 Special Investigation Team probe.

Congress leader Joseph Vazhackan said that the move is politically motivated. Moving quickly to capitalise on the political fallout of the report, the LDF government announced registering of vigilance and criminal cases against Chandy. Cases will also be registered against former minister Aryadan Muhammed, Thampanoor Ravi and Benny Behanan.

All those named in the case belong to the Congress, except for Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (Mani).

Releasing parts of the commission's findings on Wednesday morning, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "The commission has observed that Oommen Chandy and his office had been directly involved in the scam by accepting money from the company". The government later agreed to form a judicial commission to probe alleged wrongdoings.

Head of the SIT that initially probed the case A. Hemachandran, head of the Crime Branch; and K. Padmakumar, Director of Kerala Police Academy; had been shifted from their posts.

Chandy's former gunman Salim Raj, his former personal staff member Jikkumon had also been examined, after Saritha, the prime accused, deposed before the panel. The probe has been ordered on the bases of the recommendations of the Justice (Retired) G Sivarajan, appointed by the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government. He said the allegations against Oommen Chandy and others would not stand legal scrutiny.

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"When we made a decision to appoint this Commission, a public interest litigation came up in the High Court to do away with it".

In several media interviews, Saritha Nair had told journalists that she is "close to Chandy's family and "is a frequent visitor to his office and residence."When Saritha Nair came out of jail in 2014, she received a celebrity status of sorts, with local media channels hanging on to every word that she spoke and asking questions about her relationship with Chandy and other UDF leaders". I haven't done anything wrong.

"Those who feel they can bring me down by raising such allegations, they are mistaken".

It has been found that Oommen Chandy took bribe from the Team solar representatives both directly and indirectly.

Two former Congress MLAs- Benny Behanan and Thamapanoor have also been brought under the ambit of the probe.The government had also sought legal opinion of the Advocate General and Director General of Prosecutions (DGP) into the commission's findings following which it was chose to launch proceedings against them.

An elated Saritha said she was given given justice, though delayed, by the government.

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