The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed an order by a vigilance court to file an FIR against the chief minister, Oommen Chandy, and power minister Aryadan Muhammad. The court also criticised vigilance court judge SS Vasan and asked for administrative action against him. Soon after the High Court ruling, Vasan applied for voluntary retirement, and Congress minister KC Joseph demanded an investigation into the judge’s actions.
Chandy has continued to deny all links to the scam, in which accused Saritha Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan duped investors of crores of rupees in solar energy projects. Opposition leaders have demanded Chandy’s resignation, and protests continued in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode on Friday.
Nair, who has been testifying before a judicial commission that is investigating the issue, earlier in the week said she paid Chandy a bribe of Rs 1.9 crore. On Friday, she also told the investigative panel that Chandy’s son was part of their venture to import solar panels from the United States. Nair has also accused the chief minister of taking sexual favours as part of the scam.
The scam has reportedly left Congress leadership worried, as Kerala elections are scheduled to be held in three months. The High Court order has provided some respite for Chandy, after repeated demands for Chandy's resignation, including those from within the party.