The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-III here on Monday rejected the bail plea of solar panel scandal accused actor Shalu Menon and sent her to three-day police custody.
The court permitted the prosecution argument that the SIT inquiring into the scandal wanted her custody for collecting evidence. The SIT, led by ADGP A Hemachandran, had prayed for the custody of Biju Radhakrishnan and Shalu Menon for a joint interrogation. Biju was produced before the court in the evening and was sent to police custody for four days. Both Shalu and Biju are arraigned in a cheating case filed by Rasikh Ali, a city-based businessman.
Ali had alleged that they had cheated him of Rs 76 lakh promising to set up a windmill project in Tamil Nadu. The SIT had clubbed another complaint filed by one Mathew Thomas with the present investigation. Mathew Thomas had complained that Biju had defrauded him of Rs 29.6 lakh. The court while considering the bail plea did not agree with the argument of Shalu’s counsel that she was a victim of witchhunt by the media.
The SIT had quizzed the actor for a few hours on Friday after her arrest was recorded in the capital. Shalu had then admitted to her role in the case filed by Rasikh Ali. She had revealed that a portion of the money was spent for constructing her new house and a dance school. She said that Biju exploited her fame as a danseuse and actor for the image-building exercise of Swiss Solar, the paper company floated by Biju Radhakrishnan.
SIT officials said they believed Shalu had a major role in the fraud. ‘’Shalu who wished to marry Biju Radhakrishnan maintained a close relation with him. She could reveal more details on the scandal and as to where Biju stashed the swindled money,’’ they said.