Any allegation raised by an accused in custody will not have any consequences in a criminal case in which the person is involved, pointed out legal sources.
Responding to the courtroom developments related to the filing of a statement by Saritha S. Nair, the accused in the solar scam, criminal law experts said accused in criminal cases usually resorted to such practices, which had no bearing in law.
Political circles were abuzz with speculations that Ms. Nair would name a few Cabinet Ministers and Congress legislators in her complaint. It was also rumoured that the revelations would be potent enough to claim the scalp of a few Ministers in the Oommen Chandy government.
Even if the accused name a few prominent personalities in her complaint, its political consequences and moral and ethical issues involved need not determine the outcome of the case as solar scam was being treated as an economic offence, pointed out experts.
Revelations about any intimate relations between the accused and some political bigwigs, including Cabinet Ministers and legislators, may raise moral and ethical issues but not any legal ones unless it discloses some penal offences. When the accused in custody raises such allegations and statements, the courts would forward it to the investigating officers for further probe.
If the magistrate finds that there were indications of commission of any penal offences in the statements of the accused, he could order a crime to be registered independent of the matter before the court, he said.
No one can be made an accused in any case merely on the basis of a statement made by an accused in the case. Even the confessional statements made by an accused in a court of law by invoking Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code would not be sufficient to implicate any other person other than the accused himself, said a lawyer who had served as special prosecutor in some major criminal cases.
According to Sivan Madathil, a lawyer at High Court of Kerala, if the magistrate finds any cognizable offence in the statement, he can ask the investigation officers to look into it. Unless there is cognizable offence in it, the statements of the accused will not have any legal implications, he said.
An investigation officer in the solar scam said that any statement of sexual liaisons between Ms. Nair and the political executives would become significant only when sex was offered in return for any advantage from them. Probe was initiated into the scam following complaints that the accused had cheated several investors, he said.
Incidentally, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (Economic Offences), Kochi, on Friday directed Ms. Nair to give her complaints in writing to the Superintendent of the prison at Attakulangara where she was lodged.