Chandy to appear before solar scam probe panel

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 12 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will on January 25 appear 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 commission, that has its office in Kochi, will come to the state capital and record Chandy’s statement.

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.

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.

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.

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