Coming down heavily on the move to settle the solar cases out of court, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that the cases were not simple cheating cases, and hence cannot be settled by paying back the money.
“The cases could not be settled merely on the ground that they involved offences of cheating. These cases involved more than cheating,” it observed.
The court made the observation on a petition filed by the key accused Saritha Nair and Biju RadhakrIshnan to quash further proceedings in the two cases registered against them following a complaint by Fr Judis Panckal, director of Ashirbhavan, Kochi and VP Joy of Nechoor.
Pheney Balakrishnan, Counsel for Saritha, submitted that the entire dispute between the parties has been settled out of court. The allegation was that the accused persons obtained a cheque for `1,66,423 from Judis for installing solar street lights and garden lights on the premises of Ashirbhavan and `1.60 lakh from Joy.
He also submitted that the offences alleged against the accused are compoundable, without examining the witnesses.
Judis and Joy who also wanted an out-of-court settlement had also filed an affidavit saying they had no objection to the quashing of the cases pending before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Ernakulam.
But, the court observed that the people wanted to know the truth. They would also like to know the alleged involvement of minister and other politicians in the scam.
How did the complainants managed to get money when Saritha was in jail?,the court asked.
To which the counsel for the complainants submitted that they received money from the counsel of Saritha. The court asked the counsel for Saritha and Biju whether the accused could settle all the cheating cases registered in different parts of the state. The people also wanted to know where and how the fund collected by the accused had been utilised or invested.