The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued orders to remove a 25-page letter and remarks of Saritha Nair, an accused in the 2013 solar scam, against former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from the solar inquiry commission’s report, The New Indian Express reported. The direction was issued when the High Court was hearing a petition filed by Chandy seeking to quash the commission report.
The High Court ordered amendments to the Justice Sivarajan Commission report and said there were no objections to continue with the probe. The court said that sexual harassment charges raised in the letter do not come under the purview of the solar inquiry commission, according to Manorama Online.
“If the government has taken action based on the report of the commission or had issued any press release, it should be reviewed,” the court said, according to Mathrubhumi.
Chandy, in his pettion, had submitted that the commission had included Saritha’s letter in its report by going beyond its original terms of reference, reported The New Indian Express. The sexual harassment charges raised in the letter are matters that can only be investigated under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and not by a Commission of Inquiry, said Chandy.
The High Court also dismissed a petition filed by former Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan seeking to quash the commission’s report. The commission report had mentioned that Radhakrishnan tried to shield the accused using his position as Home Minister, reported Manorama Online.
Solar panel scam
In the solar scam, Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha Nair allegedly duped investors of lakhs of rupees after promising to install solar panels for them. They were arrested in October 2013 and sentenced to three years in jail on December 16, 2016. Chandy and other Congress ministers were accused of taking large amounts of money and sexual favours as part of the scam.