Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Monday appeared before a judicial commission probing the solar panel scam and denied charges that he and his office had any role in the scandal.
In the scam, several people were allegedly cheated of crores of rupees by Saritha Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.
Chandy, who appeared before the Justice Sivarajan Commission, said the state had not incurred any loss due to the scam. He said he had not met Saritha or Sreedharan Nair, who made the first complaint in the case, commission sources said.
Radhakrishnan had in December alleged he had paid Chandy a bribe of Rs 5.5 crores, out of which Rs 5.1 crore was collected personally by the chief minister while the rest was paid to his personal staff.
The chief minister also made it clear that neither he nor his office had helped the fraudulent solar energy company Team Solar, founded by Saritha and Radhakrishnan.
Chandy said he had met Radhakrishnan only once, but it was to discuss a personal issue which he did not want to disclose before the panel. This is the first time a chief minister in Kerala has appeared before a judicial commission.
The opposition CPI(M) led LDF had launched a massive agitation demanding Chandy’s resignation as the scam took a political turn after it emerged that at least two of the members of the chief minister’s staff -- Tenny Joppen and Jikkumon had alleged links with Saritha.
The government had appointed the retired high court judge as the one-man commission on October 23, 2013 to probe the scam.
Saritha and Radhakrishnan allegedly canvassed business by using high-level names including that of Chandy. While Saritha was granted bail after remaining behind bars for nearly nine months, Radhakrishnan is still in jail.