Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on 25 January was questioned by the Judicial Commission investigating the solar panel scam. When asked if he or his office had any role in the scam, Chandy denied the charges.
This is the first time that a chief minister in Kerala has been questioned by a judicial commission.
Chandy, who appeared before the Justice Sivarajan Commission, said the state had not incurred any loss due to the scam. He said he hadn’t met Saritha or Sreedharan Nair, who made the first complaint in the case, commission sources said.
He pointed out he had not met Saritha, one of the two accused in the scam along with Sreedharan Nair, who made the first complaint in the case.
Chandy made it clear that neither he nor his office had helped the fraudulent solar energy company, Team Solar, founded by Saritha and her co-accused Biju Radhakrishnan.
Radhakrishnan, in jail for his wife’s murder, told the judge probing the scandal that the chief minister accepted Rs five crore from him as a bribe. While Chandy, on his part, made it clear that he had met Biju only once and it was to discuss a personal issue, which he did not want to disclose before the commission.
The opposition CPI(M) led LDF had launched a massive agitation demanding Chandy’s resignation as the scam took a political turn after it emerged that at least two of the members of Chandy’s staff—Tenny Joppen and Jikkumon had alleged links with Saritha.
Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S Nair are accused of collecting crores from industrialists to whom they promised clean energy and solar panels. After the scam came out in the open, the government had appointed a retired High Court Judge as one-man commission on October 23, 2013 to probe the scam.