Opposition uninterested in truth behind solar scam: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 23 : The Left opposition is uninterested in the truth behind the solar panel scam, and just wants to carry on its campaign until the general elections of 2014, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Wednesday.

"Is this not a golden opportunity for the Left opposition to come out with all the evidence against me and my office before the G. Sivarajan Judicial Commission?" Chandy asked reporters here.

Chandy was responding to queries after Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V.S. Achuthanandan said that the Left would not cooperate with the judicial probe because they wanted a sitting judge of the high court to conduct the probe, and what they got was a retired high court judge.

"We decided today to appoint Justice (retd) Sivarajan (for the probe) because, despite two letters to the Kerala High Court Chief Justice to provide a sitting judge, a full court bench of the high court pointed out the Supreme Court ruling that high court judges need not go for a judicial probe announced by any state government. The Supreme Court also pointed to the huge pendency of cases in the high court, and the shortage of judges," Chandy said.

Chandy said Sivarajan is at present the chairman of the Backward Commission and was appointed when Achuthanandan was heading the government.

"It is they who appointed him. We checked up the rules, and there is no bar for him to head the judicial commission on the solar scam," Chandy said.

"We have already finalised the terms of reference (of the commission) and it includes all issues raised on this matter, both inside and outside the assembly. What more can be done? They are just not interested in the truth," he added.

The solar panel scam has been making headlines in Kerala since June 3, when Saritha Nair was arrested. Two weeks later, her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan was also taken into custody.

The couple allegedly defrauded people by offering solar energy solutions at huge discounts, and often lured people into investing in their enterprise by citing an acquaintance with people in high office in the state government.

Telephone call records of the couple revealed they were in close touch with influential people in Kerala.

While one member of Chandy's personal staff was arrested in the case and released on bail later, two others lost their jobs.

The state police have so far charged the couple in 33 cases of cheating. In some cases, popular TV actress Shalu Menon was also accused. Menon is out on bail.

--IANS (Posted on 24-10-2013)

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