Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday got interim relief from the Kerala High Court in the solar scam case as the court said the ‘sleaze’ letter should not be discussed for two months.
Chandy on Monday approached the Kerala High Court with a plea to quash the Justice G Sivarajan (retired) judicial probe report on the solar scam, submitted to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier this year.
The high court also slammed Vijayan for speaking about the ‘sleaze’ letter written by Saritha Nair, the prime accused in the multi-crore solar scam case.
The court came down heavily on Vijayan for his press conference wherein he spoke in detail based on the letter, which the court felt amounted to character assassination and could have been avoided.
The letter was written by Saritha Nair, when she was in jail, names Chandy and numerous other top Congress leaders for sexually exploiting her.
The multi-crore solar energy investment fraud that rocked the then Chandy government in 2013 was led by Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan, as it came to light that a section of the Chief Minister’s Office had links with the couple.
The court also said the authorities looking into the case can, however, go forward with their work.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal appeared for Chandy, and the plea for the manner in which Vijayan handled the judicial probe report of Justice G. Sivarajan (retd) into the solar scam was pointed out.
When the counsel for the Kerala government asked for a day’s time for the petition to be heard, the court refused and said it would be posted in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, the court directed that the ‘sleaze letter’ should not be discussed either by the media or in any form for two months and posted the case, wherein Chandy has sought to quash of the report, for January 15.
Reacting to the court’s observation, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee member A. Ananthan said he is surprised over the way the court has come out with the directions, that a letter which has already become a public document should not be discussed.
“Honestly fail to understand this, because this is part of a judicial commission probe report and it has been accepted by the government and it has become a public document,” said Ananthan.
Senior Congress legislator K.C. Joseph welcomed the court’s decision and said all of them are of the firm opinion that the report is being used politically.
Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M.T. Ramesh said such letters should never become a public document as there is every chance of it being used for blackmail.
Sivarajan submitted his report to Vijayan earlier this year.
On October 11, Vijayan told the media that the judicial report has been accepted and cases would be registered against Chandy and all others based on Saritha Nair’s letter.
Following this, on November 9, Vijayan called a special one-day session of the Kerala Assembly to place the report in the house.