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Former Kerala CM Chandy Opposes Terms and Reference of Sivarajan Commission Probing Solar Panel Scam

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had tabled the Justice G Sivarajan commission report on the solar scam in November last year in the assembly. The report found that Chandy and his staff provided all help to accused Saritha and her company to dupe people.

PTI

Updated:March 1, 2018, 7:17 PM IST
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Former Kerala CM Chandy Opposes Terms and Reference of Sivarajan Commission Probing Solar Panel Scam
File photo of former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy. (PTI Photo)
Kochi: Former chief minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday opposed in the Kerala High Court the terms of reference and proceedings of the Justice Sivarajan Commission, appointed during his tenure to probe the sensational solar panel scam.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chandy, made submissions when the court took up the writ petition filed by the former chief minister seeking to quash the solar panel scam inquiry commission report, contending that it went beyond the scope of the terms of reference.

Sibal submitted that the report was not prepared based on facts and evidence. Chandy has all the rights to challenge the proceedings of the commission as he was summoned as a witness by it to record the evidence, he contended.

There were serious lapses from the commission and its report was baseless and without any material. It was prepared on the basis of allegations and not in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the law, Sibal contented.

When the counsel submitted that there were lapses in the terms of references, Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar, hearing the matter, asked what prevented the then chief minister from raising objections in the appointment of the commission and fixing the terms of references.

The state government justified the judicial commission report describing it as a legal document and said it could not be assailed. In his petition filed in December last year, Chandy submitted that the judicial commission's findings were based on a letter written by one of the accused in the scam, Saritha S Nair.

In his petition, Chandy said he was one among others whose name was "illegally" included in the letter written by Saritha in relation to her alleged sexual exploitation and harassment. He alleged that the commission never issued him notice under Section 8 (b) as mandated in the Commission of Enquiry Act, 1952, when it decided to entertain Saritha's letter.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had tabled the Justice G Sivarajan commission report on the solar scam in November last year in the assembly. The report found that Chandy and his staff provided all help to accused Saritha and her company to dupe people.

Justice Sivarajan submitted his report on September 26, four years after the previous Congress-led UDF government constituted the commission. The panel was set up after charges surfaced about duping of several persons of crores of rupees by Saritha and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

The commission, set up in October, 2013, had held 353 sittings and examined 214 witnesses and 972 documents.

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| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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