Solar scam: Kerala court orders FIR against CM Oommen Chandy

Prime accused Saritha alleged that she had paid Rs 1.90 crore as bribe to a close aide of the Chief Minister.

Thrissur: A Vigilance court on Thursday ordered registration of an FIR against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Power Minister Arayadan Mohammed in connection with the solar scam.

Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, Thrissur, SS Vassan, on a private complaint by one PD Joseph, issued the direction in this regard.

Read: CPI(M) protest demanding resignation of Oomen Chandy turns violent

The vigilance director has been asked to file the FIR and complete the probe as early as possible. Joseph said he had based his complaint on the statements made by Saritha S Nair, prime accused in the solar scam, before the Justice Sivarajan commission probing the scam.

He also said he had produced a CD and newspaper clippings on Saritha's deposition before the commission as part of evidence.

Targeting Chandy and Mohammed, Saritha had alleged that she had paid Rs 1.90 crore bribe to a close aide of the chief minister while Rs 40 lakh had been given to the power minister. Both had denied the allegations.

Read: Solar panel scam: Oommen Chandy denies fresh charges by prime accused

Meanwhile, the chief minister told reporters at Kozhikode on Thursday morning that allegations against him were part of a political conspiracy by a section of bar owners and CPI-M.

Chandy, on Wednesday, denied the charges saying it was "an attempt by Saritha to wriggle out" of the case. "Let her state what benefit she got after bribing us," Chandy told reporters in Thiruvanthapuram. The cheques Saritha had handed over for relief fund had also bounced, he said.

"I have not helped her in any way. The Commission will come out with all the truth. Saritha was given a lot of opportunities to tell her version," Chandy who had deposed before the commission for a marathon 14 hours in Thiruvananthapuram on January 25, said.

He said he cannot be defeated by levelling allegations. Saritha said she will handover the evidence with her to the vigilance court if directed by the court. "I will not run away from the law," she told reporters at Kochi.

Saritha alleged that Chandy's former PA Jikkumon, who had sought Rs 7 crore as bribe, had insisted that the money meant for Chandy be handed over to one Thomas Kuruvilla in Delhi. Kuruvilla was claimed to be Chandy's unofficial aide.

"I handed over Rs 1.10 crore to Kuruvilla at the parking ground of a shopping mall in Chandni Chowk," she told the Commission, two days after Chandy deposed before it.

Saritha said she had met the CM on December 27, 2012 at Vigyan Bhawan when he was about to leave for the airport after attending a meeting of the National Development Council.

It was Kuruvilla who facilitated the meeting with the Chief Minister outside Vigyan Bhawan, Saritha claimed. "He (the Chief Minister) asked me how are things? I told him money is with me. He told me to contact Kuruvilla and said he did not wait for the (NDC) meeting to conclude and was leaving for airport a bit early to catch the flight (to Kerala)," Saritha told the Commission.

Saritha said before leaving for the airport to see off the Chief Minister, Kuruvilla had told her to wait for him at the car parking of the shopping mall at Chandni Chowk.

"Kuruvilla came to the car parking two hours after seeing off the Chief Minister. I had reached the mall in a car with Dheeraj. I sat with Kuruvilla in the car...I handed over Rs 1.10 crore to Kuruvilla. He invited me for tea when we came out of the parking ground. We had tea together..," she told the Commission.

Saritha also alleged Kuruvilla took Rs 80 lakh from her house in Idappazhanji in Thiruvananthapuram. "It was about 12 to 14 days ahead of my arrest," she said.

Saritha said it was Chandy who told her to meet Aryadan Muhammed to start solar project in cooperation with ANERT. She alleged that after hard bargaining with the Minister at his Manmohan Bungalow in Thiruvananthapuram, his PA took Rs 25 lakh from her.

An amount of Rs 15 lakh was given to his PA during a conference on electricity at a hall in Kottayam, she alleged.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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