Kerala solar scam witness Oomen Chandy appears before probe team
| Monday, January 25, 2016 - 22:38
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday appeared before the one-member commission of Justice (retd) G. Sivarajan probing the Rs.70 million solar scam in the state.
Chandy, a witness in the solar scam case, had already given a written statement to the commission and agreed to appear personally before it when asked to do so.
The deposition that began around 11 a.m. continued till late evening.
An aide of Chandy told reporters there was a 45-minute break for lunch and then for another 10 minutes at 5 p.m for a cup of tea.
"What we were told is that it might go on for another two hours more," said the aide who did not wish to be identified.
The commission that has its office at Kochi, however, moved base for a day to the capital city and held its sitting here.
Chandy, on Monday morning, first deposed before the commission and then before the counsel of the petitioners.
Sivarajan was appointed by the Kerala government in October 2013 to probe the solar scam after reports surfaced in June 2013 that three of the chief minister's office staff had contacts with a couple who cheated many investors by taking money for supplying solar panels to them.
The three officials were immediately removed.
(Also Read: Solar scam again raises political heat in Kerala)
The couple -- Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan -- was arrested. While Nair is out on bail, Radhakrishnan is still in custody after it came to light that he murdered his first wife.
The government came under a massive Left opposition onslaught both inside and outside the assembly, forcing Chandy to announce a judicial probe.
Chandy, however, has all along maintained that he has done nothing wrong and was prepared to face any probe.
On Monday, he gave a written statement about the sequence of events and that he has done no wrong nor has this scam caused any loss to the state exchequer.
He said that to make the investigation credible, he included in the terms of reference all statements made by the opposition inside and outside the assembly.
The commission, whose term ends in April 2016, has till now taken statements from top political leaders, including former chief minister and CPI-M veteran V.S. Achuthanandan and state Congress president V.M. Sudheeran.