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After relief from court, Chandy blasts CPM

Court said allegations of sexual exploitation against the former Kerala chief minister need not be taken into account

Thiruvananthapuram: Hitting out at the CPM in Kerala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday said the Left party had used the solar scam politically and now with the Kerala High Court ruling in his favour, they have suffered a huge loss of credibility.

Chandy was reacting for the first time after the High court on Tuesday gave him partial relief in the case when the court said allegations of sexual exploitation against the former Congress Chief Minister need not be taken into account.

The court’s directions came while hearing Chandy’s petition. It said the findings of the Solar Judicial Inquiry Commission report, based on the letter of accused Saritha Nair which alleged sexual exploitation, need not be considered.

However, Chandy’s other demand — a stay on the ongoing probe — was not granted by the court.

“Till this day for the past five years when I was haunted by the Communist Party of India-Marxist on a baseless allegation, I never dealt the case politically, instead I sought judicial recourse,” said Chandy at the state party headquarters here.

“Today the CPM has suffered a huge credibility loss, as they made political overtures based on a letter. Even then, I will continue to deal with this issue only legally,” said the 74-year-old leader.

Chandy had approached the court demanding that the one member (retired) Justice Sivarajan Commission be stayed as it had gone beyond its brief, and the letter by Nair was never part of the Commission’s terms of reference.

Hence, the probe that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ordered based on the letter should not take place.

The multi-crore solar energy investment fraud that rocked the Chandy government in 2013 was led by Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan, as it came to light that a section of Chandy’s office had links with the couple.

The sleaze letter written by Nair when she was in jail named Chandy and numerous other top Congress leaders for sexually exploiting her.

Following the huge public outcry led by the then Left opposition, Chandy in 2014 announced that the Sivarajan Commission will probe the case.

With the change of government in 2016, the report was submitted in 2017 to Vijayan.

On October 11, 2017, Vijayan told the media the judicial report had been accepted, adding that cases would be registered against Chandy and others based on Nair’s letter that claimed she was sexually exploited.

“The report of the Commission runs into 1,072 pages and 849 pages have reference to the letter and now with the letter becoming invalid, the whole issue technically has come to a close.

“The high court order also states that due to this scam, there was no direct loss to the state exchequer. Let the state government do anything on this, as I said from Day-one that I have done nothing wrong, so I have nothing to fear,” added Chandy.

The state government is seeking legal advice on Tuesday’s high court order.

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