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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The judicial probe report on the solar scam, tabled in the Kerala assembly by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, contained damning remarks against several former ruling coalition politicians — including unverified allegations of sexual exploitation of the main accused Saritha S Nair.
The probe panel is unequivocal on allegations that former chief minister Oommen Chandy received bribe from Team Solar — the company founded by Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha — and that he, contrary to his repeated claims, knew Saritha and had met her in person. The commission claimed that Biju and she paid Rs 2.16 crore as bribe to Chandy in several instalments through his trusted lieutenants.
The commission also found substance in allegations of bribe taking against former minister Arayadan Mohammed, his cabinet colleague AP Anilkumar and former Union MoS S S Palanimanickam. The commission recommended vigilance probe against all these leaders. The special investigation team headed by DGP Rajesh Dewan will examine these allegations and decide which of them merits an FIR.
However, the commission was silent on two key points which it was supposed to probe. It skirts the issue of any possible loss to the state exchequer as a result of the solar scam. It is also not clear on whether the then UDF government did anything to help Team Solar — the company founded by Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha — make undue gains.
Incidentally, the action taken report (ATR) along with the government order constituting a special investigation team tabled by Vijayan in the assembly, stopped short of directly naming Chandy and his cabinet colleagues. On October 11, Vijayan had announced that cases will be registered against all the accused in the probe report.
The solar report, which contains explicit details of sexual harassment by several top politicians, prompted CPM and BJP to demand the named UDF leaders to quit politics. “The sexual allegations against me are the most unfortunate allegations I have ever faced in my life. The people of Kerala know me well since I have been in public life for the last 50 years. If any of the allegations are proved then I will quit my public life,” Chandy told the media. “The high court had once made it clear that Saritha Nair against whom there are 31 criminal cases has no credibility,” he said.
The solar commission report also names several police officials who allegedly tried to save Chandy from criminal responsibility in the solar scam. The UDF stood united in its hour of need and said it would deal with the case politically and legally. Chandy said the letter quoted by commission was forged as the original letter written by Saritha, attested by prison officials, had only 21 pages while the commission’s letter, presented by a news channel reporter, has 25 pages.