Justice G Sivarajan judicial commission has indicted former chief minister Oommen Chandy, along with his personal office staff in the multi-crore solar panel scam. This has come as a huge blow to the Opposition Congress-led UDF in Kerala.
The commission’s voluminous1,073 page report that probed the sensational multi-crore solar scam was tabled by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the state assembly today at a special session and copies were made available to the media .Sex and sleaze were the reigning themes of the report of the G.Sivarajan commission.
The commission report was placed before the state assembly at a special session on Thursday. It gives details of how Congress ministers and leaders were hand in glove with Saritha Nair and other founders of Team Solar Renewable Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a company that promised high returns for investments in solar and wind power projects.
Presenting the report Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that as per the report Oommen Chandy is guilty of corruption and former home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, along with senior police officers, tried to protect him from being indicted in the case in the initial stages
The Chief Minister said his government would initiate legal proceedings, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The government issued a formal inquiry order on Wednesday night constituting a SIT headed by DGP (north zone) Rajesh Dewan to probe into the charges, including bribery, sexual gratifications, attempt to sabotage the probe and connections of Saritha Nair and her Team Solar with politicians. According to the government order any further complaints or evidence regarding the solar scam could also be probed by the SIT.
The most embarrassing for the Congress leaders was the allegation that some extracted sexual favors for contracts and some of them accepted bribes and other help from the government.
According to the report, the former Congress chief minister and senior party leader Oommen Chandy met Saritha S. Nair, co-founder of the company at the centre of the controversy, at least four times. The report also said that Oommen Chandy allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs2.16 crore for awarding subsidies, contracts and other favours, out of which Rs32 lakh was given, and later he sought sexual favours too.
The report also makes mention of Saritha’s relationships with 10 Congress leaders of the time, including former ministers, parliamentarians, senior party office bearers and two police officers, in return for favors from their offices.
“The sexual allegations against me are the most unfortunate allegations I have ever faced in my life. The people of Kerala know me well since I have been in public life for the last 50 years. If any of the allegations are proved then I will quit my public life,” Oommen Chandy told the media.
“The high court had once made it clear that Saritha Nair against whom there are 31 criminal cases has no credibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, former president of Congress Kerala unit, V.M. Sudheeran, said the party cannot take the report lightly as the findings are of serious nature. Sudheeran is known to have not very friendly ties with Oommen Chandy,
Meanwhile, Saritha alleged on Thursday that Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly had asked her to make public the submissions made before the commission against Chandy. This was during the campaign of assembly election last year, in order to curtail chances of people close to Chandy getting tickets to contest, she said.
Chennithala has challenged the allegations, however, Saritha claimed evidence of phone call made to her by Chennithala’s team.