Chandy, other Congress lead­ers to be probed

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Nation - Let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

The CPI(M)-led Left Front gov­ern­ment in Ker­ala on Wed­nes­day or­dered a crim­i­nal and vig­i­lance probe against for­mer chief min­is­ter Oom­men Chandy, three of his min­is­ters, and other Congress lead­ers in con­nec­tion with the multi-crore so­lar scam case.

Chief min­is­ter Pi­narayi Vi­jayan said the ac­tion was based on the re­port sub­mit­ted by the Jus­tice Shivara­jan Com­mis­sion that probed the scam. The com­mis­sion sub­mit­ted its re­port to the CM last month.

Be­sides Chandy, Thiru­vanchur Rad­hakr­ish­nan, Anil Ku­mar and Aryadan Mo­hamed will also face the probe.

The scam was re­lated to a fic­ti­tious firm floated by a Saritha Nair, a con­tro­ver­sial woman who al­legedly cheated many gullible in­vestors. Nair and Biju Rad­hakr­ish­nan, the prime ac­cused in the scam, were sen­tenced to three years in jail and were slapped with a fine of ₹10,000 each in De­cem­ber last year.

Nair is out on bail and Rad­hakr­ish­nan is in jail on charges of mur­der­ing his first wife, Reshmi.

A spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team was also con­sti­tuted un­der di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice Ra­jesh Di­wan to probe charges against lead­ers whose names fig­ured in the re­port. The scam sur­faced in 2013 and it was one of the main rea­sons for the exit of the Congress regime in the state.

Nair floated a fic­ti­tious com­pany promis­ing im­ported so­lar pan­els and stakes in the com­pany and cheated many.

She also used her nexus with the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to widen her base.

Dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Nair, who is fac­ing many cheat­ing cases, claimed she was sex­u­ally ex­ploited by many lead­ers.

“Those who com­mit­ted fraud will have to face the mu­sic,” said CPI(M) state sec­re­tary Kodiy­eri Balakr­ish­nan while wel­com­ing the probe. Nair also hailed the de­ci­sion. How­ever, Chandy said the case was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. “I don’t fear the case. I haven’t done any­thing wrong. Let the law takes its own course,” he said.

Op­po­si­tion leader Ramesh Chen­nithala also crit­i­cised the move, say­ing it was done de­lib­er­ately to in­flu­ence the by­poll in Ven­gara in Malap­pu­ram.

Oom­men Chandy

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