Background of the solar scam
- The ₹ 7 crore solar scam is centered around Saritha Nair and her former partner Biju Radhakrishnan.
- The couple formed a company "Team Solar", engaged in erecting solar panels at offices and homes.
- They managed to collect crores of rupees from numerous unsuspecting investors on the promise of importing solar power panels and setting up windmill farms.
- The schemes though, did not exist.
Accused under arrest
- On 3 June, the police arrested Saritha Nair in Thiruvananthapuram, based on complaint filed by a business man, KM Sajjad.
- Sajjid, who paid Rs 40 lakh to Saritha's company 'Team Solar Renewable Energy Solutions', lodged the complaint after realizing he was duped.
- On 17 June, Radhakrishnan was arrested from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
- Sajjid was one among hundreds of people defrauded by the couple.
Call records reveal political angle
- Call records released by a TV channel showed that Saritha, maintained close links with the office of Kerala CM Oomen Chandy.
- Saritha's partner-in-crime Radhakrishnan disclosed that he met Chandy in Kochi which the CM coroborated.
- Chandy admitted that "liberal and unconditional access" to his office was misused.
- He also sacked two of his aides who were in touch with the arrested couple.
Opposition demands Chandy's resignation
Demanding Chandy's resignation, opposition leader Achuthanandan claimed that the CM's Office bent rules, "trying to hoodwink the people and mislead the house" by attempting to aid Sarita's company in getting government contracts.
Chandy denies allegations
- Countering the opposition, Kerala's CM Oommen Chandy said the allegations against him over the solar scam issue was part of LDF's political conspiracy and that Congress-led UDF would not succumb to their pressure.
- Asserting that his government had nothing to hide, CM Chandy rejected the demand for his resignation.
- Further, he accused the opposition of "creating a smoke screen" of false allegations.
Sreedharan Nair says he and Saritha met CM
Sridharan Nair, a quarry owner and complainant in the solar panel case, claimed that he met the Chief Minister, at his office, along with Saritha, during which the Chief Minister encouraged investments in renewable energy.
Inquiry commission to probe the solar scam
- A one-member commission headed by Justice G Sivaraman was appointed to enquire into the solar scam.
- The Commission would examine whether there was any default in handling the complaints that had arisen since 2005 in connection with the solar scam and related financial dealings.
- CM Oommen Chandy reiterated that the probe would cover all allegations related to the scam including those against his office.
Kerala CM appears before solar scam probe panel
- Kerala CM Oommen Chandy appeared before the Justice Sivarajan Commission probing the solar scam.
- In an affidavit filed before the commission, Chandy said that there was no loss incurred to the state exchequer in the solar dealings.
- The CM also said that he did not help the accused and also contested the allegations that he had met accused Saritha Nair and Sreedharan Nair together.
First CM to appear before judicial inquiry commission
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy became the first head of government in the state to appear personally before a commission of inquiry to depose in a corruption case.
Solar scam: FIR against Kerala CM and Power Minister
- A Vigilance Court in Kerala commanded the registration of FIR against Kerala Power Minister Araydan Mohammed and CM Oommen Chandy in the solar scam.
- The court moved this directive over a complaint filed by one PD Joseph.
- Joseph said that he had based his complaint on the statements of the prime accused- Saritha S Nair before Justice Sivarajan.
- Chandy called this a 'political controversy'.
Kerala CM moves HC against FIR order
- Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy moved a petition in the High Court seeking to quash the FIR ordered against him by Thrissur court.
- The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and the BJP protested outside the Kerala secretariat, demanding Chandy's ouster.
- One of the protests turned violent forcing the police to resort to using tear gas to disperse the crowd.