Pathanamthitta Judicial First Class Magistrate (II) Mohammed Raees on Wednesday dismissed a bail petition moved by Tenny Joppan, former personal assistant of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in a cheating case in connection with the solar panel scam.
The Magistrate dismissed the petition filed by filed by Sreedharan Nair of Konni after hearing Joppan’s counsel G.M. Idiculla and Assistant Public Prosecutor R. Pradeepkumar, and verifying the case diary.
Joppan was arrested from Chengannur on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr. Nair before the Konni police station, earlier. The petitioner complained that Joppan, in association with Sarita S. Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan, had cheated him of Rs.40 lakh, promising to set up a solar power plant at his company in Palakkad.
Joppan’s counsel argued that his client may be granted bail as his name figured nowhere in the complaint filed by Mr. Nair. However, the Assistant Public Prosecutor opposed the bail plea stating that Joppan should not be given bail in the larger interest of preventing chances of destroying evidences at this crucial stage of investigation.
The court categorically maintained that, ‘‘there is nothing to hold that the petitioner (Joppan) is innocent and that he is falsely implicated in the case.’’
‘‘It appears that the petitioner is an influential person and as such there is substance in the objection filed by the investigating officer that there is every chance to influence the witness and to tamper with the evidence. Chance to abscond also cannot be ruled out. So, it is not in the interest of justice to grant bail to the accused as prayed for,’’ the court order said.
Regarding the allegation of fraudulent insertion made in the complaint, the court said, ‘‘in order to ascertain the correctness of the allegation that a fraudulent entry is made in the complaint, the court has perused the copy of the complaint retained in the office which also contains the insertion alleged to have been made illegally. So, there is no scope for an inquiry under Section 340 of Cr.PC, as there is no doubt in that regard.’’