Scorching Heat of Solar Scam
By Express News Service | Published: 27th December 2013 08:26 AM |
The year 2013 was hot with the solar scam rocking Kerala involving politicians and bureaucrats for their alleged connection with a man and a woman, termed as its nucleus. The fraudulent solar energy company, Team Solar, used two women to create political contacts with links even to the Chief Minister’s office. Accused Biju Radhakrishnan, who was already an accused in a case pertaining to the murder of his wife Rashmi, and Saritha Nair duped several influential people by offering them business partnership or by offering to install solar power units for them, and receiving advance payments for the same.
The biggest scam this year came to the light when one of the customers who had paid for the installation of solar panels filed a case against the company. Apart from the duo, Tenny Jopan, the personal aide of Chief Minister, actor Shalu Menon and Public Relations Department director A Firoz were also arrested in connection with the scam. Salim Raj, the gunman of Chief Minister, was suspended in connection with the phone calls in the solar case.
Firoz was suspended from service for allegedly receiving `5 lakh from the company. He was accused of helping to dupe a builder of `40 lakh along with Biju and Saritha, by claiming one of them as an ADB official and they could arrange a contract with the ADB. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was dragged into the scam with the phone calls made by his personal staff and forged letters which were used by the fraudsters to defraud customers. The issue snowballed when Sreedharan Nair, a quarry owner, claimed that he had met the Chief Minister, at his office, along with Saritha Nair, during which the Chief Minister encouraged investments in renewable energy.
To put pressure on the government and demanding judicial investigation, the LDF started indefinite Secretariat siege on August 12. Though the two-day siege was called off, the LDF continues to boycott Chief Minister’s programmes demanding his resignation along with the blockade of the Cliff House, the official residence of the Chief Minister. The blockade is being carried out by workers from each Assembly constituency in the state.
However, the High Court gave a clean chit to Chandy in the scam. The court said that there is nothing to prove that Chief Minister Chandy had a role in the matter, or that he did anything wrong. There is nothing to implicate him, and there is no evidence against him, the court said.