Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has questioned the credibility of the Solar Commission that put him on the defensive in a corruption-sleaze scandal and accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his office (CMO) of falsifying the report of the Commission.
The Solar Inquiry Commission, headed by retired judge G. Sivarajan, appointed by him while in office in 2013 to probe allegations against a con couple, put him in the dock.
At a press conference here on Friday, Mr Chandy alleged that the Commission was prejudiced but the Congress -led opposition United Democratic Front would fight it out legally and expose the communist government’s attempts to seek political revenge against rivals.
He wondered why the commission had failed to look into various other factors and focussed on a purported 25-page letter a television reporter submitted on the eve of the elections, against which he had moved the court seeking damages.
Mr Chandy pointed out that the same woman (Saritha Nair) had earlier claimed that two top communist leaders had offered her Rs 10 crore to destabilize his Government.
“The commission didn’t bother to examine the credibility of the woman who had changed her statements several times and instead went ahead with allegations contained in the purported letter which she did not give in her statements,” he said.
“The government has got a report it wanted from the commission and fortified it with legal opinion from judicial officers, mere political appointees, and ordered a criminal investigation. What justice is this?”
He said the office of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan circulated misleading information in the media to tarnish the image of the opposition leaders. He said an official in his staff, Mr Abubacker, distributed parts of the woman’s letter to the press claiming to be the panel’s recommendations.
“Is this his political morality?” he asked, raising a newspaper advertisement of the fraudulent firm which contained photographs of his communist predecessor VS Achuthanandan and his cabinet ministers.
“They say I helped them to cheat people, but can the commission point out a single deal in which I did that? Did the commission say I took money or any other favours?”
Referring to the report, now available on the government website, he ridiculed the commission’s findings that the government suffered no losses except the amount it spent (Rs 7 crore) during four years to probe the Rs 6.75 crore and his heightened security.
“There is nothing concrete in the report, but insinuations and prejudiced observations and the CM is using them to tarnish his political rivals,” he said.
He said he had met the woman thrice without knowing who she was like hundreds of people he used to see as the chief minister every day and he realised it only later.
The couple had also claimed proximity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, and Farooq Abdullah, the then federal power minister, to cheat their unsuspecting customers.
Mr Chandy said the commission never looked into 14 cases of cheating registered against the couple, Biju Radhakrishnan and Sarita S Nair during the Left Government, before he assumed office.
This included the murder of the wife of Radhakrishnan, which was concluded as natural death, only to be reinvestigated during his tenure resulting in a court sentencing him to life in prison.