No evidence against Chandy, finds Crime Branch on harassment plaint of solar-scam accused

Oommen Chandy
Oommen Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram: There is no evidence to suggest that former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had harassed a key accused in the 2013 solar panel scam, the Crime Branch reported.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) T K Jose revealed the finding, after handing over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the status report of the case the Crime Branch had prepared.

The case was handed over to the central agency after several teams of the State police, repeatedly failed to find any evidence to substantiate the complainant woman’s allegations.

The Crime Branch report said Oommen Chandy was not at the Cliff House, the chief minister's official residence, on the date of the alleged incident. The complainant woman had alleged that she was abused in the Cliff House on September 19, 2012.

Crime Branch had questioned all those present in Cliff House on the date of the alleged incident. None of them recalled seeing either Chandy or the complainant.

The report, which Jose handed over to the CBI, was prepared based on the questioning of the Cliff House employees, the then chief minister’s security detail, and his personal staff members.

Telecommunication firms had expressed their inability to trace the day’s call details after eight years.

The state crime branch registered the case, naming Chandy and five other leaders as suspects in 2018. Separate six-member teams were formed to probe the allegations against each individual.

During the course of the investigation that spanned two-and-a-half-year, the complainant’s statement was recorded at the Crime Branch headquarters. The recording of her statement had then taken several days.

The complainant met the incumbent chief minister and sought a CBI probe after the Crime Branch officers said further investigation would not be possible in the absence of any evidence. The case was handed over to the CBI in January this year.

Earlier, before a case was registered, three senior police officers, including a DGP, had withdrawn from probing the complaint, saying it lacked substance. Additionally, the High Court of Kerala had expunged the allegation from the report submitted by the commission that probed the solar panel scam.

'Move to keep LDF cadre happy'

Thiruvananthapuram: Reacting to the finding, Oommen Chandy said the LDF government handed over the case to CBI at the fag end of its term to keep its cadre happy.

He said no action was taken during the past five years, but the government decided to hand over the case to the CBI at this time, apparently hinting at the upcoming Assembly polls.

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