Relief for former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy in solar scam

The Kerala high court on Tuesday expunged all remarks and findings by the commission that probed the multi-crore solar panel scam based on a letter reportedly written by the main accused Saritha Nair alleging sexual harassment against former chief minister Oommen Chandy.
The court observed that the charges of sexual assault raised by Nair will not come under the preview of the Justice G Sivarajan Commission. It, however, refused to quash the commission’s report altogether as sought by Chandy.
The state government cannot file any case against the Congress leader after the court’s verdict.
Chandy moved the court after the inquiry commission that probed the scam prepared a report treating the letter written by Nair while she was in jail as the main evidence. He contended that the findings of the commission based on her letter were arbitrary in nature and prepared without hearing him.
Chandy lauded the verdict and said it shows truth will prevail.
“The report was based on the letter written by her. Since the court expunged her letter and related remarks now the report has turned redundant,” he said.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government will take necessary action after examining the high court’s verdict. The state government had decided to file criminal cases against Chandy, four of his ministers and 11 others soon after the commission submitted its report last year.
Justice Sivarajan submitted his report to the government on September last year, four years after the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government constituted the commission to probe the scandal, which was one of the main reasons for the exit of the Congress regime in the southern state.
The commission indicted them for allegedly helping Nair to cheat businessmen with the promise of installing solar power plant units.
The solar scam made headlines five years ago with the arrest of Nair and her partner Biju Radhakrishnan, who allegedly floated a fictitious company Team Solar and conned businessmen by flaunting their high-level connections, including with Chandy who was the chief minister at the time.
It surfaced in June 2013 after reports said that three staff in the chief minister’s office had contacts with the couple, who cheated many investors of money after promising to supply solar panels to them and stakes in a fictitious firm.
Nair, who is facing at least 30-odd cheating cases, claimed during the investigation she was sexually exploited by many including Chandy in a letter to the commission.