THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Refuting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s claim, the counsel of the judicial commission probing the solar panel scam on Monday submitted evidence for loss of government money in the alleged fraud committed by Team Solar.
The counsel’s revelation came during the Commission’s recording of the statement of the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister in his written affidavit had claimed that the government did not suffer any loss owing to Team Solar, the company owned by Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S Nair.
The Commission’s counsel said the government agency ANERT distributed solar equipment at subsidised rate to the public through Team Solar which was a malpractice as the company was neither a nodal agency of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy nor empanelled by the Anert. The government suffered losses on this count.
Also, as per the evidence submitted by the counsel, Team Solar submitted around 45 applications for subsidy for equipment installed by them for organisations and individuals. “As Team Solar was not an empanelled agency, the Anert should have rejected the applications at the threshold. But the agency sat over the applications for over a year which was suspicious,” the counsel said.
He submitted that Team Solar purchased equipment at a subsidised rate from Anert which was illegal.
Chandy said the information wasn’t brought to the notice of the government. “I didn’t get any information in this regard either during the discussions in the Assembly or by the investigation team. Also, these will not come under my interpretation of loss to the government,” he said.
He refuted the allegation that Team Solar had an influence over the government, state or Central ministers. “My government installed solar panels at my office and official residence. Both works were implemented by the government agencies and not by Team Solar which proves that the allegations are baseless,” he said.
On a poser on the interim report by the then Intelligence ADGP T P Senkumar for a probe into the calls made to Saritha’s mobile phone from two land phones in the Chief Minister’s residence, Chandy said: “Based on the report, those responsible for the calls were avoided from their posts. The Chief Minister’s office was not subject to any misuse.”
Chandy said the only complainant in the solar scam who approached him was one T C Mathews. On the allegation that Mathews was threatened by Saritha over meeting the CM, Chandy said: “Mathews’ statement is false and aimed at getting more consideration from me”.
High Court Stays Order on Saritha Letter
Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday stayed the order of Solar Inquiry Commission directing Saritha Nair, who is a witness in the proceedings of the Commission, to produce the letter written by her and handed over to her lawyer while in judicial custody. The court issued the order on the petition filed by Saritha. According to Saritha, the letter allegedly handed over by her is purely a personal communication to her counsel. Under Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, no court can insist on production of such communication. She submitted that even in terms of Section 129 of the Indian Evidence Act, the petitioner cannot be compelled to disclose confidential communication. The commissioner overlooked this aspects. She also submitted that the professional communication is not possible to be produced by her as directed by the presiding officer of the Commission.