'Chandy & Co bankrolled Saritha's out-of-court deals'

The scandal that hit the state in 2013 had brought the chief minister's office under cloud with some of his close aides found linked with the fraudsters.



By T.k. Devasia

Published: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:58 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:58 PM

Trivandrum: A day after a court sentenced two main accused to three years in jail, the solar scam has once again returned to haunt Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his cabinet and party colleagues.

They have been rattled by a video clipping showing Fenny Balakrishnan, counsel for the prime accused Saritha S Nair, disclosing that Chandy had given money to his client to settle the cases related to the scam. The allegation contained in a conversation he had with the manager of the fraudulent firm floated by Saritha.

The video clipping of the conversation aired by a television channel on Friday alleged that Chandy had helped Saritha in settling some cases outside the court by arranging money through his colleagues. Balakrishnan alleged that Thampanoor Ravi, a senior leader in Trivandrum district, had acted as Chandy’s middle man. According to him, Benny Behanan, MLA allegedly helped in collecting the funds in Ernakulam area. He also alleged that state ministers Aryadan Mohammed and Adoor Prakash, former federal minister K C Venugopal and legislator AP Abdullahkutty had also given funds to Saritha and bought her silence on their role in the scandal.

He said these leaders had helped Saritha when she went on a fund collection spree after she was released on bail to settle the cases. When some of these cases came up before it for settlement, the high court had expressed suspicion over the source of the funds and had even asked the police to probe it.

The scandal that hit the state in 2013 had brought the chief minister’s office under cloud with some of his close aides found linked with the fraudsters. Four of them were removed from his personnel staff and two were later arrested.

However, Saritha lamented that many who were involved in the scam did not stand by her. Saritha, who was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment in one case on Thursday, said she will disclose the names of all those involved in the scam before the court shortly. According to her, this included ministers and legislators.

Seizing on the opportunity, the opposition has demanded Chandy’s resignation. Deputy leader of opposition and CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has also sought a fresh case in the light of the latest revelations.

Chandy has denied the allegation. He said that Thursday’s court verdict was the most befitting answer to all the allegations against him. He said some who were unhappy with the judgment were coming out with fresh allegations.

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