Solar scam prime suspect Biju Radhakrishnan, who was arrested from Coimbatore on Monday, was produced before the Kottarakara Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Wednesday amidst tight security. He was arrested by a team of the Kollam Crime Branch CID on the charge of murdering his wife in February 2006.
When produced in court, Biju faced a cheating charge in addition to the murder charge.
The magistrate, D. Sreekumar, remanded him in the Kottarakara sub-jail for 14 days in connection with the cheating charge and till 11 a.m. on Wednesday on the murder charge.
The cheating charge pertains to a bogus cheque case filed years ago by the Kottarakara police.
Crime Branch Dy.SP C.G. Suresh Kumar, who is investigating the murder case, had moved a plea seeking Biju’s custody for further probe. While the court heard the counsel of the Crime Branch CID, Biju’s lawyer who could not make it to the court on Tuesday made a submission through his junior to hear him on Wednesday.
The magistrate accepted the prayer and fixed 11 a.m. on Wednesday as the time to hear Biju’s counsel.
Though remanded in jail for 14 days for cheating, Biju could be handed over to Crime Branch if the court was convinced of that need, legal sources said.
Tense situation prevailed around the court complex with activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the All India Youth Federation and the Bharatheeya Janata Yuva Morcha gathering there, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. As the police vehicle carrying Biju reached the court premises by 3.50 p.m., demonstrators started shouting slogans, alleging a link between Biju and Mr. Chandy. DYFI activists burnt the Chief Minister in effigy outside the court complex. The demonstrators mobbed the vehicle which carried Biju to jail. The police had to clear the way for the vehicle. Some agitators hurled footwear at the vehicle.
Biju has not been formally arrested in the solar scam case. Earlier in the day, he was quizzed by top police officers for over three hours at the Crime Branch complex here. ADGP (South Zone) A. Hemachandran; ADGP (Crime Branch) Vinson M. Paul; Kollam City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera; and Kollam Crime Branch Superintendent of Police Uma Behera were among those who interrogated him.