Kochi: Legal experts have expressed doubts whether solar scam accused Saritha S. Nair’s depositions before the judicial commission are not enough to prosecute any of the accused she has named, including UDF top brass.
Many feel that the statements produced before the commission can only be used as a piece of information and not evidence.
They hold Ms Nair will have to make fresh submissions before the courts to set the law in motion if someone files a complaint before a court with the strength of Ms Nair’s deposition against someone.
A judge of the High Court said the solar judicial commission is an enquiry commission and the the courts cannot initiate a case solely on the basis of statements of witnesses.
“A judicial commission can only be considered a fact-finding agency,” the judge said. “So the statements of the witnesses can only be considered to be having legal sanctity.”
Since using a witness statement furnished before the court is unprecedented many feel that the courts may not encourage the practice of using the depositions of witnesses.
Ms Nair is protected by the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 as the depositions cannot be used against her. As per the Act no statement made by a person in the course of giving evidence before the commission shall subject him/her to, or be used against him/her in, any civil or criminal proceeding.
Such statements could be used in a criminal trial neither for the purpose of cross-examination to contradict the witness nor to impeach his credit.